Black Church Group Launches HIV/AIDS Education Campaign in San Diego County, Calif.
The Concerned African American Clergy and Laity today will officially launch a two-pronged HIV/AIDS education campaign aimed at San Diego County's black community and focusing on testing and awareness, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports (Dolbee, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11/15). Last month, ministers in the group took HIV tests as part of the kick-off campaign for the new initiative (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 10/29). A weekend education campaign begins today with a series of meetings. In addition, there will be a conference tomorrow, and ministers will address HIV/AIDS during sermons on Sunday. The Union-Tribune reports that next week, group representatives will meet with county health officials to address funding issues and to discuss a "prevention message specifically tailored for blacks" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 11/15). Members of the group, representing approximately 20 black congregations, said they were spurred to action by the high rate of HIV/AIDS infection among blacks, both nationally and locally. Of the 46,400 AIDS cases reported nationwide to the CDC in 1999, 50% were among blacks. In addition, in 1999, the national AIDS-infection rate among blacks -- 66 cases per 100,000 people -- was more than two times the rate for Latinos and eight times the rate for whites (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 10/29). Six percent of the population of San Diego County is African-American, but almost 16% of recent AIDS cases there are among blacks (San Diego Union-Tribune, 11/15).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.