NAACP to Host “Forgotten Epidemic”: HIV/AIDS Advocacy & Education Summit

(WASHINGTON, DC) – The NAACP’s Health Department, in partnership with Harvard University’s Center for AIDS Research (HU CFAR), will spotlight HIV and AIDS in the Black community during the “Forgotten Epidemic: Our Collective Response, Responsibility & Solution To The Black AIDS Crisis” Advocacy and Education Summit. The free, two-day event will engage legislators on domestic HIV/AIDS and other health issues disproportionately affecting the community and advocate for National HIV/AIDS strategy, the Patient Affordable Care Act and more. This is the second in a series of meetings that began with 2010’s “Forgotten Epidemic: HIV/AIDS Crisis in Black America” in Boston, MA. The Summit aligns with the 30th anniversary commemoration of HIV/AIDS in the United States.

"If we don't work together to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS in our community, then who will? Let's take matters into our own hands and stop the spread of the epidemic,” said Roslyn M. Brock, Chairman, NAACP National Board of Directors.“It is a new day.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Black Americans are 13% of the U.S. population, but make up over 50% of all new cases of HIV and AIDS. That represents an infection rate 10 times higher than the white population. Among women, the numbers are even more shocking: 70% of all new infections among American women are Black women, and a Black woman’s risk of dying of AIDS is 23 times greater than that of a white woman from the U.S.

The event will feature leaders in health equity and in the social justice and civil rights movements, as well as community and faith-based organizations. National, state and local elected officials are invited to attend, as are HIV/AIDS activists, health researchers and policy analysts. Confirmed panelists include Shavon Arline, MPH, NAACP Director of Health Programs; Frances Ashe-Goins, RN, MPH, Deputy Director, Office of Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); Christopher Bates, Executive Director, Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA), HHS; Suzanne Bosstick, Deputy Director, Disabled and Elderly Health Programs Group, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS); Jeff Crowley, MPH, Director, Office of National AIDS Policy & Senior Advisor on Disability Policy; Dazon Dixon Diallo, MPH, Founder/President, Sister Love, Inc.; Sheldon Fields, ARNP, FNP-BC, AACRN, DPNAP, FAANP, Researcher, HIV Prevention Trials Networks (HTPN) and Assistant Dean of Clinical Affairs and Health Policy, Florida International University; Eleanor Holmes-Norton, Congresswoman, D-District of Columbia; Jonathan Mermin, MPH, Director, CDC Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention (DHAP); Greg Millett, MPH, Senior Scientist and HHS/CDC Liaison to the Office of National AIDS Policy; Patricia Nalls, Founder/Executive Director, The Women Collective; Deborah Parham-Hopson, RN, FAAN, Associate Administrator for HIV/AIDS, Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. HHS; John Ruffin, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, National Institutes of Health (NIH); Carl Schmid, Deputy Executive Director, National Policy Office, The AIDS Institute; and Phill Wilson, President/Founder, Black AIDS Institute.

Discussions will highlight root causes of the epidemic; stigma and discrimination associated with people living with or affected by AIDS; and Black relationships and sexuality. Separate sessions will be aimed at the presence of the epidemic in Black youth. Participants will also steer conversations on developing critical action plans to stem the tide of HIV and AIDS among Black Americans.

“The NAACP has identified HIV/AIDS as a national priority,” said Shavon Arline, NAACP Director of Health Programs. “We realize this is the number one killer among African American women ages 25-44 and will continue to raise awareness and bring a sense of urgency to this epidemic to save our families.”

The NAACP has initiated several health care efforts, including its 880 Campaign for Real Healthcare Reform Now. The campaign’s name derived from findings suggesting that the deaths of 880,000 African Americans could have been prevented had adequate health care reform been passed in the last decade. The NAACP also led a coalition of more than 50 civil rights and advocacy groups to create an unprecedented “civil rights war room” where organization leaders developed a strategy to successfully advocate for the passage of the National Health Care Reform Bill in March 2010. The Association is also a member of the Act Against AIDS Leadership Initiative (AAALI) in partnership with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, as one of 14 national Black organizations and the Office of Minority Health.



Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Education & Training Luncheon
11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Networking Reception
6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Thursday, November 3, 2011
“Walk the Halls” event
8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.


Holiday Inn Capitol
550 C Street SW
Washington, District of Columbia 20024

Rayburn House Office Building
Rooms B339-340
45 Independence Ave SW
Washington, District of Columbia 20515

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

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