June 27th 2009 is National HIV testing day and the NAACP wants you to get tested

Through the ACT Against AIDS Leadership Initiative (AAALI), the NAACP has renewed its commitment in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The AAALI seeks to integrate interventions into existing programs within longstanding traditional African American organizations. Similarly, the NAACP seeks to educate, empower, and mobilize all members and constituents about the importance of getting tested.

The NAACP recognizes the devastating effects of HIV in our communities. African Americans make up approximately 13% of the US population, and accounted for 18,121 (49%) of the estimated 37,331 new HIV/AIDS diagnoses in the United States in the 33 states with long-term, confidential name-based HIV reporting (CDC 2005). Even more disturbing are the alarming rates of infection for African American women and youth.

HIV/AIDS in the African American community has been a taboo subject for far too long.

“HIV can be prevented through behavior modification, but it must first be discussed in all venues among all ages, races and ethnicities” says Benjamin Todd Jealous, President and CEO of the NAACP.  “Education and awareness will help to reduce stigma and promote healthier behavior in often marginalized populations. If you are sexually active, getting tested for HIV is your first step for a healthier and more productive life, not just for you, but for your partner.”  Jealous said.  

As a call to action, the NAACP will collaborate with our members as well as other governmental and non-governmental organizations to address the needs of women, youth, and the prison re-entry population in our seven regions.

The NAACP will unveil its national campaign against HIV/AIDS at its Centennial Convention July 11-16 in New York.  The organization will use this time as a springboard for mobilizing its members/affiliates in the fight against AIDS. There will be two training HIV/AIDS workshops as well as onsite testing throughout the duration of the conference. Workshops will take place on July 12th and July 13th.  Rapid HIV testing allows you to know your status in as little as 20 minutes.

To get tested, go to www.hivtest.org for your local testing center.

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members in the U.S. around the world advocate for civil and human rights, conducting voter mobilization campaigns, and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

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