ATLANTA, -- More than a third of new HIV infections in the U.S. occur in people over 40 years old. Yet there have been very few campaigns targeting this population. The Black AIDS Institute, the nation's only think tank devoted exclusively to combating AIDS among African Americans, is about to change that.
The Institute has found an innovative way to help Black people ages 40 and up become more aware of the HIV/AIDS risk among people their age, while simultaneously raising money to fight the disease in Black communities. The campaign, supported by local organizations, is called Trump AIDS. It leverages the traditional Black pastime of bid whist, a popular card game among Black Americans, as a unique way to convene and educate this often overlooked HIV/AIDS demographic.
Trump AIDS will launch in Atlanta, Georgia, on Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, January 15 – 17, 2010 at the Clarion Hotel. The Atlanta event is the first of 30 tournaments and health fairs being held across the nation between January and October, and will culminate with a national bid whist tournament and health fair in Las Vegas, Nevada. For a complete list of cities hosting events and to register, please visit www.TrumpAIDS.org.
"AIDS does not only affect a select demographic such as youth, women or gay men," says Actor and AIDS Activist Danny Glover, who is a celebrity co-chair of Trump AIDS. "It affects all groups of people. That is why Trump AIDS is such an important campaign for Black people to support and participate in." Jackee Harry, the other celebrity co-chair, adds, "We must unite as a community -- for the sake of our community. To do nothing is to be part of the problem."
The Atlanta kick-off event will include a Bid Whist Qualifying Tournament and Health Fair in partnership with local Atlantaorganizations The 7NO! Players, Sister Love and AID Atlanta.
"The 7NO! Players are excited to host the kick-off event in Atlanta," says Montez Collins, President, 7NO! Players. "We look forward to welcoming all of our regular bid whist players and any new comers who are interested in learning more about the game."
"We are proud to partner with the Black AIDS Institutive on this new and innovative awareness campaign to reach Black Americans," says Sister Love Founder and President Dazon Dixon-Diallo. "When two-thirds of the new HIV/AIDS cases among women in the US are Black, now more than ever it's important to educate and reach every demographic of the Black community."
The Health Fair features free onsite HIV testing for all Tournament attendees, players and guests. All are welcome to attend.
The winner of the Atlanta tournament automatically qualifies for a national tournament to be held in Las Vegas in November and a chance to win $45,000.00 in prizes. Other participants can qualify for the national tournament and have their travel expenses to Las Vegas paid by raising $3,000.00. The participants who raise the most money also get to play in a celebrity tournament.
"Rates of HIV in persons over 50 years of age are 12 times higher among African Americans than among whites," according to Timothy G. Heckman, Ph.D. "Older people do not consider themselves at risk. Physicians rarely talk to older patients about sex or other risk behaviors."
"Trump AIDS is an unprecedented event that will provide Black people who are not actively engaged in the HIV battle with access to important health information," says Black AIDS Institute COO Aron Myers. "This is a tremendous opportunity for the Atlanta community and good citizenship for all."
"There's no way to end the AIDS epidemic in Black communities without targeting this population," adds Black AIDS Institute founder and CEO Phill Wilson. "The Black AIDS Institute has spent the last decade meeting Black folks where they are. Trump AIDS is a perfect example of identifying an indigenous pastime in our community and using it to deliver culturally effective messaging. Everything about this effort, from the date and city where we launch the campaign to celebrity co-chairs -- Danny Glover and Jackee Harry -- celebrate the Black experience."
Participants will be encouraged to become involved in the fight to end the AIDS epidemic in the Black community while having fun and potentially winning prizes.
Trump AIDS is a service mark of the Black AIDS Institute.
About the Black AIDS Institute
Founded in May of 1999, the Black AIDS Institute is the only national HIV/AIDS think tank focused exclusively on Black people. The Institute's Mission is to stop the AIDS pandemic in Black communities by engaging and mobilizing Black institutions and individuals in efforts to confront HIV. The Institute interprets public and private sector HIV policies, conducts trainings, offers technical assistance, disseminates information and provides advocacy mobilization from a uniquely and unapologetically Black point of view. For more information, please visit www.BlackAIDS.org.
SOURCE Black AIDS Institute