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HIV/AIDS remains crisis in Black communities

Henderson Hill III, director of the African-American Center

HIV/AIDS remains a crisis in Black communities throughout the U.S. The continued severity of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Black communities cannot be underestimated. Our challenge in 2011 is to stem the tide and save the lives of Black people locally, regionally, nationally and internationally!

For 11 years now, Feb. 7 has been designated as National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD). NBHAAD is a national HIV testing and treatment community mobilization initiative designed to encourage Blacks across the U.S. and Territorial Areas to get educated, get tested, get treated, and get involved with HIV/AIDS, as it continues to devastate Black communities. Currently, NBHAAD is directed, planned and organized by a group known as the Strategic Leadership Council who partners with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to mobilize communities and address specific issues in regards to local epidemics and best practices that will influence the course of HIV in Black communities across the country. Healthy Black Communities, Inc. serves as the NBHAAD 2011 Annual Chairperson and the organization responsible for coordinating communications, material development and dissemination, and brand management.

Public figures such as Congressman Elijah E. Cummings, Tony Dungy, Idris Elba, Kimberly Elise, Lance Gross, Hill Harper, Taraji P. Henson, Tom Joyner, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Ludacris, Master P, Tangi Miller, Patrik-Ian Polk, General Colin Powell, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Gloria Reuben, Romeo, Rev. Edwin Sanders, Tavis Smiley and Congresswoman Maxine Waters have all contributed their advocacy as spokespersons to this effort.

For 2011, we are mobilizing communities to be the voice and face. The theme for 2011 is “It takes a village to fight HIV/AIDS!” with the hopes that we challenge the mindset that Black people are disposable. We are asking Blacks all over to become the voice for change by submitting a mini-video through the website that is centered on one or all four of the objectives of NBHAAD — education, testing, involvement, and/or treatment. All people, regardless of lifestyle or HIV status, can and should get involved with spreading the HIV/AIDS message to their families and communities.

The APSU Wilbur N. Daniel African-American Cultural Center, in conjunction with Nashville CARES, will be providing FREE HIV/AIDS testing to all APSU students from 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 7, 2011, in the AACC. There will be FREE food for those who get tested, as well as an opportunity to enter a drawing for a prize.

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2011: Get educated! Get tested! Get involved! Get treated! For more information on National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, log onto

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