Barbara Lee, NAPWA, Black AIDS Institute Commemorate 15th Annual National HIV Testing Day
Release National Report on the State of HIV testing in Black America
Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) joined her colleagues Reps. Maxine Waters (D-CA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) and Donna M. Christensen (D-VI), Obama Administration’s director of the Office of National AIDS Policy, Jeff Crowley and the National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA) in holding press conference to underscore the importance of HIV testing and encourage all people to get tested and know their status.
“Now is the time to take action, raise awareness and educate people on how to protect themselves against HIV and AIDS,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. “We have to do a better job of dispelling the stigma that surrounds HIV/AIDS and the anxiety involving the test itself and encourage people to get tested. At the same time we have to equip our young people with the tools to protect themselves from getting infected to begin with.”
NAPWA in conjunction with the Black AIDS Institute released a new national report on the state of HIV testing in Black America in an effort to draw attention to the AIDS epidemic in Black America. The report “Passing the Test: The Challenges and Opportunities of HIV Testing in Black America” (http://www.yousendit.com/download/cmcxM25ONEhPSHpIRGc9PQ) charges that there are well over 100,000 Black Americans are living with HIV but are unaware of their infection. The report calls on every Black person in America to find out their HIV status. CDC researchers estimate that up to 70% of new infections in Black America are transmitted by people who are unaware of their HIV infection. People with undiagnosed HIV infection are three-and-a-half times more likely to expose others to the virus than people whose infection has been diagnosed.
Following the conclusion of the press conference, Congresswoman Barbara Lee and other Members will proceeded to the Prevention Works HIV Testing Van to be tested. For additional information on HIV testing please call Prevention Works at (202) 588-5580.
Note: For pictures from this event please contact Nicole Y. Williams at 202-226-0323 or via email at Nicole.Williams@mail.house.gov.