King County Executive Ron Sims has proclaimed Feb.7 "Black HIV/AIDS Awareness and Information Day." Local Black leaders and organizations are responding to the impact of HIV and AIDS in King County's African American communities by encouraging residents to get educated, get involved, get tested and get treated.
"Let's use Feb. 7 as an opportunity to recognize that HIV and AIDS disproportionately affects the Black community, which is a crisis for African Americans and for all of us," Sims said. "We must show our caring for our family and friends by insisting that they learn about HIV, including their HIV status."
For information about HIV and testing call the HIV/STD Hotline at 206-205-7837.
"In King County, African Americans and foreign-born Blacks make up 22 percent of new HIV cases, though they are only 6.5 percent of our county's population," said Dr. Bob Wood, HIV/AIDS Program Director for Public Health in Seattle and King County.
"Nationally, the statistics are even more alarming. African Americans make up approximately 12 percent of the population, yet almost half of all new AIDS cases reported in this country are among members of the Black community." Feb. 7 is also National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness and Information Day and Seattle is one of more than 300 urban centers across the U.S. planning events to call attention to the problem and seek solutions to halt the epidemic.
To learn more about the crisis, visit the Black Leadership Council's Web site at www.metrokc.gov/health/apu/blc/index.htm or visit www.blackaidsday.org to learn more about National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.