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Feb. 7 is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Courtesy of Black PR Wire | 1/28/2009, 12:44 p.m.

Each year, National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD) is recognized on Feb. 7. The day is set aside for a national mobilization effort designed to encourage African Americans across the United States and Territorial areas to get educated, tested, treated, and involved with HIV/AIDS. This year€s theme is €Black Life is Worth Saving!€

€Of all racial and ethnic groups in the United States, HIV and AIDS have hit African Americans the hardest,€ said Steven Davis of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, lead sponsor and a member of the NBHAAD Strategic Leadership Council.

A nationally recognized commemorative day, NBHAAD will include special events such as press conferences, community forums, church services, community marches and rallies, and free HIV/AIDS testing, counseling and referrals which will be held throughout the nation for African Americans to get educated, get tested, get treated and get involved.
In addition, NBHAAD has obtained the support of numerous noted celebrities to join in the delivery of a message to send throughout the nation for African Americans to get educated, get tested, get treated and get involved. Spokespersons include U.S. Congressman Elijah E. Cummings; Tony Dungy (former head coach of the Indianapolis Colts); Idris Elba (€The Wire,€ Tyler Perry€s €Daddy€s Little Girls;€ €Prom Night€); Kimberly Elise (€Beloved,€ €The Manchurian Candidate,€ Tyler Perry€s €Diary of a Mad Black Woman€); Kim Fields (€Facts of Life,€ €Living Single€); Lance Gross (Tyler Perry€s €House of Payne€); Hill Harper (€CSI: NY€); Taraji P. Henson (€Not Easily Broken,€ €The Curious Case of Benjamin Button€); Tom Joyner (Host of the Tom Joyner Morning Show); U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Lee; Ludacris; Bishop Eddie Long (Pastor, New Birth Missionary Baptist Church); Master P; Tangi Miller (€Felicity€); Patrik-Ian Polk (creator of Noah€s Arc); General Colin Powell; Sheryl Lee Ralph (€Moesha,€ €Sister Act,€ €To Sleep With Anger€); Gloria Reuben (€ER€); Rev. Edwin Sanders (pastor of the Metropolitan Interdenominational Church); Tavis Smiley (author, journalist, political commentator and talk show host); and U.S. Congresswoman Maxine Waters.

NBHAAD reminds African Americans of the statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that serve as a deafening wake up call. According to the CDC, African Americans have more illness (even though Blacks account for about 13 percent of the U.S. population, we account for about half [49 percent] of the people who get HIV and AIDS), shorter survival times (Blacks with AIDS often don€t live as long as people of other races and ethnic groups with AIDS), and more deaths (for African Americans and other Blacks, HIV/AIDS is a leading cause of death).

NBHAAD is currently directed, planned and organized by a group known as the Strategic Leadership Council who partners with the CDC to mobilize communities and address specific issues in regards to local epidemics and best practices that are science based and will influence the course of HIV in Black communities across the country.

For more information on National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, including the complete listings of events in the local communities, visit www.blackaidsday.org.