For Immediate Release
February 5, 2008

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is February 7

KDHE Encourages Kansans to Get Tested; Events Hosted Across State

On February 7, Black American leaders and organizations in Kansas and across the U.S. will respond to the impact of HIV and AIDS in African American communities in the annual observance of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.

“We encourage Kansans to get educated, get tested, get treated and get involved in prevention efforts as HIV and AIDS continue to devastate black communities,” stated Roderick L. Bremby, Secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE).

Blacks are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS. As of December 31, 2007, 25 percent of people living with HIV and AIDS in Kansas were black, while blacks represented 6.5 percent of the Kansas population in 2006.

In 2005, blacks accounted for more than 49 percent of the new HIV/AIDS diagnoses in the U.S. while accounting for only 13 percent of the U.S. population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). HIV/AIDS was a leading cause of death among blacks during that same year. The rate of AIDS diagnosis in African American women was nearly 23 times that of Caucasian women and for black males eight times more than Caucasian men.

Several events are planned throughout Kansas in recognition of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day:

If you are at increased risk for getting HIV and want to get tested, contact your local health department or call the KDHE HIV/STD Section at 785-296-6174. HIV testing information is available on the KDHE Web site at