NEW YORK - Harlem United Community AIDS Center with the Black AIDS Institute will host the Treatment Hot Topics Forum, an update of major findings relevant to Black people from the XVIII International AIDS Conference (IAC) and the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) today, from 3-5 p.m. at the Willis Green Jr. Community Health Center. The bi-annual IAC held this past July in Vienna, Austria, is the largest convening of HIV and AIDS science, treatment and prevention researchers, clinicians, advocates and policymakers in the world.
In July, the Obama administration released the first national HIV/AIDS strategy in the United States. The vision of the NHAS is to create an environment in the United States where "new HIV infections are rare and when they do occur, every person, regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or socio-economic circumstances, will have unfettered access to high quality, life-extending care, free from stigma and discrimination."
"HIV may be a chronic disease, but not for the African-Americans living in Harlem," says Sara Gillen, Senior Vice President of Community Health Services at Harlem United. "We are out on the front lines everyday helping our community residents access testing and care and giving them the knowledge and tools they need to live healthy lives if they test HIV positive."
"East and Central Harlem rank second and third citywide in HIV prevalence, in the top ten for STD infections and our death rate is twice as high as the city's rate," said Stephane Howze, Harlem United's Chief Operating Officer. "Even though Harlem United served more than 12,000 people throughout Harlem and the South Bronx last year, access to information, care and self-advocacy remain critical! We invite our allies in the community to continue this fight against HIV."
Speakers for the update include: Jasmine Burnett, AVAC, Dr. Jerry Ernst, Amida Care, Dr. Theresa Mack, St. Luke's Hospital's Center for Comprehensive Care, Tarita Mitchell, Harlem United Peer Health Educator,and Phill Wilson, President and CEO of the Black AIDS Institute.
Details on the new National HIV/AIDS Strategy and how it will impact the Black community, plus information about the importance of HIV testing and how to improve and expand testing in Black communities will be discussed.
About Harlem United
Founded in 1988, Harlem United Community AIDS Center, www.harlemunited.org, works to improve the lives of people living with or threatened by HIV/AIDS through comprehensive prevention, housing, and healthcare services. With more than 300 staff and an enduring commitment to quality patient-centered, community-based care, we serve more than 12,000 New Yorkers annually. A true one-stop shop, Harlem United provides supportive housing, healthcare, and HIV prevention services to Central and East Harlem.
About the Black AIDS Institute
Founded in 1999, The Black AIDS Institute (The Institute), a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization, is the only national HIV/AIDS Think Tank in the United States focused exclusively on Black people. The Institute's mission is to end the AIDS epidemic in Black communities by engaging and mobilizing traditional Black leaders, institutions and individuals in efforts to confront HIV/AIDS. The Institute offers training and capacity building, disseminates information, interprets and recommends private and public sector HIV policies, and provides advocacy and mobilization from a uniquely and unapologetically Black point of view.