Colleges Include Dillard University of Louisiana and Xavier University in Louisiana, Lawsone State Community College and Miles College in Alabama, and Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, and Spelman College in Georgia
NEW ORLEANS---AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s ‘Magic Johnson’s Testing America’ Tour, a 48-state national cross country HIV testing tour, is conducting an HIV testing tour through seven Historically Black Colleges in Louisiana, Alabama and Georgia throughout the month of February, to coincide with Black History Month and National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.
“It is an honor to have seven ‘Historically Black Colleges’ participate in AHF’s national ‘Testing America’ Tour. Offering students and staff easy access to free HIV testing is a great opportunity to raise local, as well as national, awareness about how the Black community is disproportionately affected by HIV”
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) mobile HIV testing unit made stops in Louisiana at Dillard University of Louisiana (Feb 10th) and Xavier University (Feb 11th), followed by a trip to Alabama’s Lawson State Community College (Feb 23rd) and Miles College (Feb 25th). Lastly, the AHF will also host free HIV testing Georgia at Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, andSpelman College (Feb 26th).
The testing will take place on AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s new, state-of-the-art ‘Testing America’ mobile HIV testing unit named in honor of and in partnership with basketball legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Jr. The AHF/Magic Johnson ‘Testing America’ tour is part of a collaborative effort to raise local and national awareness about the importance—and ease—of HIV testing and to challenge attitudes about moving toward a streamlined model of HIV testing and counseling nationwide.
“It is an honor to have seven ‘Historically Black Colleges’ participate in AHF’s national ‘Testing America’ Tour. Offering students and staff easy access to free HIV testing is a great opportunity to raise local, as well as national, awareness about how the Black community is disproportionately affected by HIV,” said Azul Mares-Del Grasso, Field Services Manager for AHF’s National HIV Testing Tour. “Working with respected local partners to offer testing events like these, we hope to get that message out as well as demonstrate just how easy HIV testing can be.”
According to an HIV/AIDS Policy Fact Sheet produced by the Kaiser Family Foundation, (“Black Americans and HIV/AIDS”, updated, September 2009, with statistics through 2007), African-Americans make up 12% of the population in the United States, but account for more than 45% of new HIV infections and account for 46% of people currently living with HIV. In addition, AIDS is also now the leading cause of death for Black women ages 25 to 34, and the second leading cause of death for Black men ages 35 to 44.
Testing USA HIV Testing Counselor, Eric Boyd, said, “Of the approximately 1.2 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States, an estimated 20% are unaware of their HIV-positive status. These testing events are a great opportunity for people to come out and be tested for free and to find out their HIV status in order to protect their own health and that of their partners.”
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and services to more than 125,000 individuals in 23 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean the Asia/Pacific region and Eastern Europe. www.aidshealth.org
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