AIDS Action Council congratulates the Black AIDS Institute on release of “We’re the Ones We’ve Been Waiting For,” its latest report on the state of AIDS in Black America and what black communities are doing about it.
AIDS Action Council also welcomes and supports the Call to Action issued by Members of the Congressional Black Caucus for a mobilization to end the epidemic in black America and for the development of a national AIDS strategy in the United States.
The report provides an update on the HIV/AIDS epidemic’s impact on black Americans, including the percentage of people living with AIDS in each state who are African American, as of 2004. In 15 states, more than 50% of the people living with AIDS are black. The report gives updates on HIV testing, prevention efforts, and the state of treatment among black Americans and gives an overview of what is being done to combat HIV/AIDS through the Black AIDS Mobilization.
“The latest report by the Black AIDS Institute starkly reminds us of the impact that HIV/AIDS is having on black communities throughout our country,” said Rebecca Haag, Executive Director of AIDS Action. “In the 27th year of this epidemic, it is shameful that we have the numbers documented in this report, highlighted by the fact that in 2004, 50% of new HIV/AIDS diagnoses were among black Americans. This underscores further the need for a national AIDS strategy, for which over 100 organizations are calling. The centerpiece of a national AIDS strategy must be addressing and ending the epidemic in black communities throughout America.”
In releasing its report, the Black AIDS Institute also announced a major initiative to test 1 million black Americans by Dec. 1, 2008. “We can do this and we will,” stated AIDS Action council Board member Tony Wafford, Vice President of the Palms/African American Community Development Initiative. “This campaign will allow us to do something different and innovative to get 1 million African Americans tested for HIV.” The initiative will organize forums to educate people about HIV testing and will test people in partnership with local community-based organizations.
AIDS Action Council is committed to working in partnership with the Black AIDS Institute, The Balm in Gilead, the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS and other national, regional and local organizations to support the Black AIDS Mobilization against HIV/AIDS including the HIV testing initiative. “We have sound, evidence-based knowledge of what needs to be done,” said Haag. “We now must mobilize all sectors of our country, including the next President, to act.”