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Health and Family Services Cabinet
Department for Public Health Promotes National Black HIV/AIDS Day

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, February 06, 2008  
Contact Information:  Gwenda Bond or Beth Fisher, (502) 564-6786, ext. 4012  

This Year’s Message is ’Prevention is Power‘

The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) encourages Kentuckians to take part in National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on Feb. 7. 

Promoting the theme “Prevention is Power,” advocates, health care providers and local leaders are emphasizing the continued need for communities to mobilize efforts to educate more people about the state of HIV/AIDS among African-Americans and encourage individual counseling and testing. 

“This is a critical and necessary campaign to stem the tide of continuing devastation by HIV/AIDS in black communities across the nation and within the state of Kentucky,” said Sigga Jagne, manager of the HIV/AIDS branch in DPH.

The African-American community has been disproportionately affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, as evidenced by the following statistics:

· Nationally, AIDS was the fifth leading cause of death for African Americans between the ages of 25 and 44.

· The AIDS diagnosis rate (the number of people per 100,000) in 2005 in the United States was highest for African Americans at 54, compared to 18 for Hispanics; seven for Native Americans and Alaskan Natives; six for whites; and four for Asians and Pacific Islanders.

· Eight times as many African-American males in the U.S. were diagnosed in 2005 with AIDS than white men.

· Twenty-three times more African-American women in the U.S. were diagnosed in 2005 with AIDS than white females.

· African-Americans represented 50 percent of the new AIDS cases diagnosed in 2005.

Similar disproportionate impact is also observed in Kentucky. Although African-Americans represent only 7 percent of the state’s population, they represented 38 percent of the new AIDS cases diagnosed in 2006.

On average, between 2002 and 2006, the AIDS diagnosis rate for African-American males in Kentucky was six times higher than that of white males and 15 times higher for African-American females than for white females.

The following observances and activities have been planned for Kentucky:

· 2008 Red Party, 7:30 p.m., Crowne Plaza, Lexington. Speakers, HIV testing and health fair

· Matthew 25 AIDS Services: All-day educational sessions and testing at Evansville Housing Authority, JFK Center in Henderson, Ky., and at the Matthew 25 AIDS Treatment Clinic

· Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Alpha Omicron Chapter: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., testing event at Kentucky State University, Student Center Ballroom, Frankfort

· Heartland Cares: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. testing at the Western Kentucky Technical College and the Heartland Cares AIDS Treatment Clinic

· Volunteers of America Louisville: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., testing in Louisville at the St. Peter’s Church, Central Presbyterian, Liberty High and Plymouth Church

· Louisville Metro Health Department: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., testing, several sites throughout Louisville

· The African-American Think Tank: Health Summit, including HIV education and testing, Feb. 8-10, at West Chestnut Street Baptist Church in Louisville (6 to 8:30 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; and 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday)

For more information about National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day events in Kentucky and HIV/AIDS prevention and testing, contact Beverly Mitchell or Michael Hambrick, prevention initiatives coordinators, at (502) 564-6539, ext. 3558 and 3560 respectively. You can also visit our Web site at and the National Black HIV/AIDS Day Web site at

*To hear Jagne and Mitchell discuss the importance of National Black HIV/AIDS Day, visit




Last Updated 2/6/2008