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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release # 008-06
Monday, February 6, 2006

DOHMH - MEDIA CONTACT: (212) 788-5290; (212) 788-3058 (After Hours)
Sandra Mullin (smullin@health.nyc.gov);
Andrew Tucker (atucker@health.nyc.gov);


FEBRUARY 7TH IS NATIONAL BLACK HIV/AIDS AWARENESS DAY

African-Americans Remain Disproportionately Affected by AIDS Epidemic
For information on events, visit www.blackaidsday.org

NEW YORK CITY – February 6, 2006 – To mark National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, the City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) reminded all New Yorkers at risk to get tested for HIV, and to take precautions to prevent the spread of HIV.

City Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas R. Frieden said, “In the fight against HIV/AIDS, we all have a common enemy – the HIV virus – and we must unite to prevent its spread. Every New Yorker must do their part: if you are sexually active or have ever injected drugs, make sure you know your current HIV status. Rapid HIV tests are quick, confidential and free. It's also critical to share your HIV status with your sexual partner and talk to a medical provider about prevention and care if you are HIV-positive. We must join together to make sure that HIV prevention, testing and treatment reach all New Yorkers. We can stop the epidemic.”

DOHMH and community partners will hold health fairs throughout the city on February 7th. Free, rapid HIV testing will be offered at all DOHMH clinics on Tuesday, February 7.

Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

DOHMH Locations: Health Department STD clinics in East Harlem and Central Harlem in Manhattan; Fort Greene, Brooklyn; Jamaica, Queens; and Morrisania, the Bronx. For clinic locations, visit nyc.gov/health.

For more information on local events, visit:
http://www.blackaidsday.org

“On National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, we are reminded that African-Americans are disproportionately affected by the epidemic,” Dr. Frieden continued. “While 1 in 4 New Yorkers is African-American, 55% of all HIV-related deaths in 2004 were among black adults. HIV is the third leading cause of death for black men and women under the age of 65. This day is an important call to action for all New Yorkers, including advocacy groups, government agencies, the medical and faith communities and others to work together to expand prevention efforts, increase testing and link people to quality care.”

HIV/AIDS in New York City

There are more than 94,000 New Yorkers known to be living with HIV/AIDS. It is estimated that there are 20,000 more who do not know they are HIV positive. Black New Yorkers comprise the greatest proportion of people living with HIV/AIDS (44%). Additionally:

  • •  More than 90% of cases among NYC women are among African-Americans and Latinas;
  • •  The HIV death rate for black women is 9 times higher than for white women;
  • •  Black men have an HIV death rate 6 times higher than that of white men.
Take Care New York
Know Your HIV Status - A "Take Care New York " Priority

If you have ever been sexually active, or ever injected drugs (even if only once), get tested for HIV. By knowing your HIV status, you can protect yourself, anyone you are having sex with, and, if you are pregnant or planning pregnancy, your baby.

Free, confidential STD exams and treatment, and confidential or anonymous HIV testing are available at Health Department clinics, which are located in all 5 boroughs of New York City . Health insurance, proof of citizenship or parental consent are not required. For a list of clinics and hours, visit nyc.gov/health, or call 311.

Not having sex and not injecting drugs are the only sure ways to protect yourself from HIV. If you are sexually active, use a latex or polyurethane condom every time you have sex. You can also help to protect yourself and others by limiting your number of sexual partners.

Take Care New York , the City's health policy, sets a goal of reducing the annual AIDS death rate by 42%, from 21 per 100,000 population to 12 per 100,000, by 2008. This would reduce the number of AIDS deaths in New York City each year to fewer than 1,000, preventing at least 700 deaths each year. For more information, visit www.takecarenewyork.org.

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day ( NBHAAD) is a community mobilization effort that builds capacity to increase awareness, participation and support for HIV prevention, care and treatment among African Americans. February 7 th , 2006 marks the sixth year of this annual event.

To mark NBHAAD, the World Famous Laugh Factory will host the “Safer Sex Comedy Show” on Tuesday night. DOHMH and other sponsors will administer free on-site HIV testing and other health screenings from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Male and female condoms will also be distributed for free. Shows begin at 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.

For more information on HIV/AIDS, including STD clinic locations, visit the DOHMH web site at nyc.gov/health or call 311.

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National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD)
Free and Confidential STD Clinics
HIV/AIDS Information
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) Information
Take Care New York