Want a good way to spend your lunch break? Head to The AIDS Services Center NYC's Herald Square program offices and get a free (and confidential) HIV test to mark Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. On Monday, February 8, ASCNYC will have a host of programs at their Midtown Manhattan offices (64 West 35th Street, 3rd Floor), including:
10:00am - 11:00am: HIV/AIDS Prevention, Care and Treatment among Blacks by Gilead Sciences
11:30am - 12:30pm: The Impact of Sex and Drugs in Relationships
12:30pm - 1:30pm: Community Lunch
And the free HIV testing runs from 10:00am-3:00pm. No need for an appointment as walk-ins are accepted — and if you need transportation, MetroCards will be provided.
ASCNYC (ascnyc.org) is a multiservice community organization that carries out its mission of promoting "Positive Change for New Yorkers" seeking health, recovery, and a better future as they navigate life with HIV and other chronic health conditions. ASCNYC’s innovative peer education, access to healthcare, and full-spectrum harm reduction services promote empowerment, stability, and connection to community.
“It is important to take this time to educate the public and reach out to African-American New Yorkers, who make up a disproportionate number of those affected by HIV and AIDS,” said Sharen Duke, Executive Director of ASCNYC. “More than half of women with HIV are African-American, rates of HIV transmission among African American men, particularly gay and bisexual men, continue to rise, and we must do all we can to move towards an end to this epidemic, an end to new infections and a ceaseless commitment to care for and get new treatments to those living with HIV,” concluded Duke.
Yesterday was the official date for the National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD), which was first observed in 1999. The Strategic Leadership Council plans and implements this observance. This year's theme is “I Am My Brother’s and Sister’s Keeper. Fight HIV/AIDS!”
ASCNYC provides critical linkage to care, which is even more critical for African-Americans living with HIV. A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released ahead of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day show that:
Only 38% of African Americans got consistent HIV care from 2011 – 2014, compared to about half of white and Latino Americans.
African American men were less likely to receive consistent medical care than African American women (35 percent and 44 percent, respectively).
Consistent retention was highest among African Americans whose HIV infections were attributable to heterosexual contact.
African Americans represent 12 percent of the total U.S. population yet accounted for almost half (44 percent) of HIV diagnoses in 2014—and for more than one-third of people living with HIV. Here's what that looks across racial groups: