February 7, 2011 National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
Today, February 7, the nation observes the 11th annual National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. This year also marks the 30th anniversary of the first reports of AIDS in the United States.
Since the beginning of the epidemic, African Americans have been deeply affected by HIV. According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, blacks make up just 14-percent of the total U.S. population yet represent almost half of those living with HIV and about half of those with AIDS who die each year.
The National HIV/AIDS Strategy, which now guides all federal HIV/AIDS-related efforts and programs, recognizes the disproportionate impact of HIV on African American communities. The strategy promotes HIV testing for at-risk groups and stresses the importance of getting people who are living with HIV into care.
Federal departments and agencies with HIV/AIDS programs have developed detailed plans to implement the strategy, and are working together on cross-agency initiatives, like the 12 City Project, which supports comprehensive planning and cross-agency response in 12 communities hit hardest by HIV and AIDS.