Health and Family Services Cabinet
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Events Planned
Observation Feb. 7 to Give Light to Disproportionate Rates in Kentucky
The Kentucky Department for Public Health strongly supports national efforts to heighten public awareness of HIV/AIDS during this year’s National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on Feb. 7.
This year the annual awareness day will be themed “26 Years of AIDS is Enough, The Time to Deliver Is Now,” and is intended to increase community action and raise public awareness of the virus in African-American communities.
“We continue to see a disparity in the number of HIV and AIDS cases among African-Americans,” said William Hacker, M.D., Health and Family Services public health commissioner and acting undersecretary for health. “It’s imperative that more people seek individual counseling and get an HIV test. This is the best way to start reducing – and eventually eradicate – HIV and AIDS in Kentucky.”
HIV/AIDS continues to be a serious public health threat in the United States, according to statistics such as:
· Nationally, AIDS is the leading cause of death for African-Americans between the ages of 25 and 44.
· The AIDS case rate (the number of people diagnosed with AIDS per 100,000) for African-Americans is the highest in the United States – 84.2; compared to the rates of Native Americans and Alaskan natives – 11.5; whites – 9; and Hispanics – 34.6.
· African-American males in the U.S. have an AIDS case rate of 125 per 100,000. This is more than seven times the rate for white males who have a rate of 16.2 per 100,000.
· African-American females in the U.S. have an AIDS case rate of 49 per 100,000, which is more than 24 times that of white females who have a rate of 2 per 100,000.
· The percentage of African-American adult/adolescent AIDS cases increased from 34 percent in 1996 to 40 percent in 2000.
· In Kentucky, African-Americans are disproportionately impacted by the AIDS epidemic. As of 2005, African–Americans, although comprising only 7 percent of the total Kentucky population, made up 30 percent of all AIDS cases.
· Since 2005, the AIDS rate for African-American males in Kentucky is five times higher than that that of white males in Kentucky. The AIDS rate for African-American females is 19 times higher than that of white females.
The following observances and activities have been planned for Kentucky:
· HIV/AIDS information and flier distribution throughout the state at churches and community functions.
· Rev. Timothy McNeil from Dallas will give a presentation at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 6, at the Seventh Street Baptist Church in Henderson.
· Lexington-Fayette County Health Department, AIDS Volunteers of Lexington, Bluegrass Care Clinic and the Kentucky Department for Public Health will have a joint Town Hall Meeting from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 7, at Shiloh Baptist Church in Lexington.
· Matthew 25, Inc., in Henderson will be hosting an HIV/AIDS awareness event featuring a performance by renowned actress and AIDS activist Sheryl Lee Ralph at 6 p.m. Feb. 7, at Matthew 25’s offices in Henderson.
· The First Baptist Church Youth group, along with other participants, will host HIV/AIDS workshops from 6 to 10 p.m. Feb. 9, at the Walter Todd Center in Frankfort.
· Step/dance teams from across Kentucky will deliver messages about HIV/AIDS at an event from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Feb. 17, at Tates Creek High School in Lexington.
For more information about National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day events in Kentucky and HIV/AIDS prevention and testing, contact Beverly Mitchell, minority initiatives coordinator, at (502) 564-6539. You can also visit the Web site at http://chfs.ky.gov/dph/epi/hivaids.htm and the NBHAAD Web site at http://www.blackaidsday.org/.