With an estimated one in 16 black men and one in 32 black women being diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime, the Illinois Department of Public Health is encouraging the black community to get tested.
February 7 marks National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. In Illinois, blacks make up 14 percent of the population, but account for almost half of all HIV/AIDS cases in the state. In an effort to fight those high numbers, the IDPH is encouraging HIV testing and providing education and resources about the disease.
"IDPH remains committed to facilitating access to HIV testing as well as providing access to education and awareness about the disease," IDPH Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck said. "We fully support efforts like National Black HIV/AID Awareness Day that mobilize communities to empower themselves in the effort to eradicate the spread of HIV/AIDS."
In an effort to spread the word about testing, the department is hosting several testing events in the Chicago area, launching a "Twibbon" campaign, and offering free ecards to remind friends and loved ones to get tested.
For information on HIV/AIDS, how it affects all populations in Illinois, and how to get tested, visit www.idph.state.il.us/aids/default.htm.
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