Health and Family Services Cabinet
Public Health Joins National Test 1 Million Campaign
Goal is to Test 2,100 Additional African-American, Hispanic Kentuckians
FRANKFORT, KY - (Aug. 11, 2009) - The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) HIV/AIDS branch today announced its participation in a national campaign to encourage more African-American and Hispanic Kentuckians to get tested for HIV. Leaders from government, health care and advocacy groups joined DPH at the Capitol Rotunda in support of the announcement.
The campaign, known as Test 1 Million (T1M), is an initiative created by the Black AIDS Institute as a call to action to test 1 million Black Americans for HIV by June 27, 2010. DPH aims to increase the number of Kentuckians tested by an additional 2,100 individuals by the same time next year.
“HIV/AIDS disproportionately affects the African-American and Hispanic communities, and we must do everything we can to eliminate this health disparity,” said Sigga Jagne, manager of the HIV/AIDS branch in DPH. “By joining the T1M campaign, we are setting an ambitious – but achievable – goal to reach these populations and make sure more Kentuckians know their HIV status.”
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, African-Americans and Hispanics accounted for 13 percent and 15 percent of the total U.S. population in 2006. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that African-Americans and Hispanics accounted for 45 percent (24,900) and 17 percent (9,700) new HIV diagnoses in 2007.
HIV/AIDS statistics in Kentucky mirror the national disparities. For example, African-Americans and Hispanics made up 7.7 percent and 2.2. percent of the state’s population, yet accounted for disproportionately high numbers of new HIV diagnoses. According to 2007 data, 153 (38 percent) new cases were African-American, and 32 (8 percent) new cases were Hispanic. In fact, from 2003-2007, the AIDS diagnosis rate for African-Americans was approximately eight times higher than the rate for whites.
“HIV/AIDS remains a serious public health concern in Kentucky and across the country,” said DPH Commissioner William Hacker, M.D. “By taking part in the Test 1 Million campaign, we hope to reach more residents of this state, particularly the African-American and Hispanic communities. With continued outreach, testing events and public education, we can not only erase health disparities, but also dramatically lessen the impact of the HIV-AIDS epidemic.”
For more information or to learn more about participating in the T1M campaign, call Michael Hambrick or Beverly Mitchell from the HIV/AIDS branch at (800) 421-7431, ext. 3560 and 3558 respectively. Additional information about the T1M campaign can be found at www.blackaids.org or http://chfs.ky.gov/dph/epi/hivaids.