February 7 is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
Sunday, February 7, marks the 10th annual National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD). Communities and organizations across the U.S. will sponsor programs on or around this date to call attention to the problem and seek solutions to halt the epidemic. Citizens are encouraged to get educated, get tested, get treated and get involved with HIV/AIDS as it continues to devastate black communities.
“While anyone can get HIV, our racial and ethnic communities in Kansas bear a disproportionate share of the burden,” stated Roderick L. Bremby, Secretary of KDHE.
The black community is more disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS than any other ethnicity. While making up only 12 percent of the U.S. population, blacks account for 48 percent of new HIV cases. AIDS is the number one killer of black women ages 25-34. As of December 2008, 28 percent of cumulative HIV cases and 23 percent of AIDS cases in Kansas were black. However, blacks represent about 6 percent of the Kansas population.
Education, testing, treatment and involvement can help stem the HIV epidemic. KDHE recommends testing for HIV to help stop the spread of HIV.
“If you or your partner has ever been at risk for getting HIV, you absolutely should get tested. HIV testing is available in 101 sites in Kansas,” said L. William Lyons, Director of HIV/AIDS Program at KDHE. “It’s also a good idea to ask about services that are available and ways to prevent spreading HIV in the future.”
Initiatives and events planned in recognition of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in Kansas include:
- Positive Directions will hold free testing from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., February 5 at the Center for Health and Wellness, 2707 East 21st Street North, Wichita.
- Hunter Health Clinic will hold free testing at the Black Expo Exhibit, which is a week-long event, on Saturday, February 13 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. They will share the day with Sedgwick County Health Department, who will continue the testing from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. The Black Expo Exhibit is located along the Arkansas River, at Douglas and Meridian in Wichita.
- The Sedgwick County Health Department will be offering free, rapid results testing on Tuesday, February 9 from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Sedgwick County Health Department, 2716 W Central. They will also offer free testing at the Fantasy Complex on Friday, February 26 from 10 p.m. – 2 a.m. The Fantasy Complex is located at 3201 South Hillside, Wichita. The testing done at Fantasy is also rapid results.
- Reno County Health Department will offer free HIV testing on February 5 at the Reno County Health Department, Hutchinson, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. They will also present at the Hutchinson Women’s Week, offer an educational workshop and free testing on site following the presentation. The event will be held at the Healing Arts Studio, 9 West B, Hutchinson, on February 10 from 2:30 – 5 p.m. The Sexual Assault Domestic Violence Center sponsors the Hutchinson Women’s Week.
- Johnson County Health Department will host a free testing event 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on February 5 at their clinic located at 11875 South Sunset Drive, Olathe.
- Good Samaritan Project will offer free rapid testing, distribute HIV/AIDS information and give a presentation at Kansas City Kansas Community College, 7250 State Ave. Kansas City, KS on February 5 from 10 a.m. – noon.
- Junction City-Geary County Health Department will host two events for NBHAAD and the general public. The first event will be offer free testing from 3 – 5 p.m., February 7 at the Xcalibur Club’s “Souper Bowl” event. The club is located at 384 Grant Ave in Junction City. On February 14, the health department and the Second Missionary Baptist Church on 10th Street will host, “Protect Your Sweetheart, Know Your Status” from 2 – 5 p.m.
- Douglas County AIDS Project will hold two testing clinics. The first clinic will be held at KU at the Student Union on Friday, February 5 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Along with testing, there will be an information table providing flyers with statistics about how HIV affects the black population. The second clinic is scheduled for Saturday, February 6 from 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Lawrence Public Library. This event will also have an information table with flyers.
- Barton County Health Department will hold two testing clinics. The first clinic will be held at Barton Community College at the Student Union on Tuesday, February 9 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Along with testing, there will be an information table providing brochures and information about HIV prevention and transmission. The second testing clinic is scheduled for Thursday, February 11 from 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. at the Health Department, 1300 Kansas Ave., Great Bend. This event will also have an information table with flyers.