National Black HIV AIDS Awareness Day 2017

National Black HIV AIDS Awareness Day and OICNational Black HIV AIDS Awareness Day and OIC

National Black HIV AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD) was February 7th, 2017. NBHAAD a national HIV testing and treatment community mobilization initiative targeted at Blacks in the United States and the Diaspora. NBHAAD was founded in 1999 as a national response to the growing HIV and AIDS epidemic in African American communities.²

The National Black HIV AIDS Awareness Day initiative leverages a national platform to educate, bring awareness, and mobilize the African American community. NBHAAD has four key focus areas which encourage people to:

  • Get Educated about HIV and AIDS;
  • Get Involved in community prevention efforts;
  • Get Tested to know their status; and
  • Get Treated to receive the continuum of care needed to live with HIV/AIDS

Get Educated

The focus of National Black HIV AIDS Awareness Day is to get Blacks educated about the basics of HIV and AIDS in their local communities. Across the country the Black population is disproportionately affected by HIV. In the Orlando area there were a total of 12,659 persons were living with HIV/AIDS in 2014. Persons Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in Orlando are predominately Black males, ages 45+ years with a transmission exposure of MSM (Males having Sex with Males).¹ 

HIV’s Impact on the Black Community in Orlando:

  • 39% of Persons Living With HIV/AIDS are Black¹
  • 33.0% of the new HIV cases are Black¹
  • 45.0% AIDS cases are Black¹
  • 18.6% – The percentage of the general Orlando area population that identify as Black¹

Get Involved

Getting Blacks involved to host and participate in NBHAAD events is another key focus area.² There are many different community groups to get involved with in Orlando. Orlando Immunology Center collaborates with many organizations in an effort to educate the community, improve care and reduce the incidence of HIV. OIC is proud to be the first and only private practice that is actively involved with all of the AIDS Service Organization (ASOs) in the planning, promotion and attending awareness days like NBHAAD. Many awareness event are planned by the Central Florida AIDS Planning Consortium (CFAP) . Since all the local ASO’s and OIC participate in CFAP, it’s the best ways to get involved in the community. Here is a quick list of the local events that celebrated NBHAAD:

National Black HIV AIDS Awareness Day 2017 Events

2/3/17 – NBHAAD Kick Off Testing Event at 741 South Orange Blossom Trail

2/7/17 – National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day at Parliament House

2/7/17 – Central Florida League of Young Urban Professionals – Dr. Andrea Dunn spoke

2/9/17 – CFAP General Membership Meeting at Comprehensive Health Care in Melbourne

2/11/17 – NBHAAD Health Screenings at the John Jackson Community Center

Congratulations to all the individuals that volunteered to make these events such a huge success. Special thanks to OAK Central Florida, for spearheading the development and coordination of many of these events. The Florida Department of HealthMiracle of Love Inc.Central Florida AIDS Planning Consortium (CFAP)Orlando Immunology CenterBlack AIDS Institute of Melbourne (BTAN)Lets BEEHIVEComprehensive Health Care MelbourneHope and Help of Central FloridaOrlando Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. also all worked very hard together to made these events possible. Teamwork makes the dream work! 

Get Tested

Testing is at the core of this initiative and is critical for prevention of HIV in Black communities.¹ It is hoped that Blacks will mark February 7 of every year as their annual or bi-annual day to get tested for HIV.² It is very important for those who are sexually active and those at high risk to be tested regularly for HIV. People can get a free HIV test at any of the ASO’s. You can find them all on one website – Test Orlando. Test Orlando is a collaborative effort among several of Orlando’s healthcare and community leaders. Test Orlando is specifically designed to inform you about HIV/AIDS in Orange and the surrounding counties. Call before you go to make sure you know the location and hours of operation. 

Click Test Orlando to find a HIV testing location near you. 

Get Treated

It is very important for those that have HIV to get into care. Seeing a doctor regularly, receiving care, and taking prescribed Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) helps individuals stay healthy. A Person Living With HIV (PLWH), who is on Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) can achieve an undetectable viral load and become “undetectable”. When the partner with HIV has an undetectable viral load this both protects their own health and prevents new HIV infections.³ Most people respond very well to treatment and will live a long, healthy life. Studies show that if HIV is untreated, it could lead to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).² If you are unsure of how to pay for doctor visits and medication, Ryan White can help. It is a federally funded program that can provide financial assistance for you to see the doctor, pay for labs and receive medication. If you have been diagnosed with HIV and would like assistance, we are here to help. Please contact one of the following local resources:

  1. Orange County Health Department – (407) 836-2628
  2. AHF – (407) 204-7000
  3. Hope and Help Of Central Florida – (407) 645-2577
  4. Miracle of Love, Inc. – (407) 843-1760
  5. Orlando Immunology Center – (407) 647-3960 Ext 2148

Other Resources

  1. National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness
  2. CDC – National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Information
  3. CDC – HIV Among African Americans
  4. CDC –  Act Up Awareness Campaign

¹ Integrated HIV Prevention and Care Plan for the Orlando Service Area written by the Central Florida AIDS Planning Consortium (CFAP)

² National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness 

³ Prevention Access Campaign