HIV/AIDS Outreach Efforts in Atlanta, Buffalo, N.Y., Target Black Community
The following summarizes two recent events that seek to raise HIV/AIDS awareness in the black community.
- Atlanta: The African-American Outreach Initiative will hold its 10th annual conference on HIV/AIDS in Atlanta March 15, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. AIDS is the leading cause of death among black women ages 24 to 34 and the second leading cause of death among black men ages 35 to 44. The two-day conference will seek to identify people who are HIV-positive and encourage them to seek care, Michael Banner, chair of the planning committee, said. According to Banner, the conference attracts between 500 and 600 people who are HIV-positive. Banner said the conference "gives people who are HIV-positive a safe place to come and get information and see role models who are living with HIV but not living in the shadows" (Bonds Staples, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 3/8).
- Buffalo, N.Y.: The Buffalo division of the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS on Saturday as part of an effort to commemorate "Black Church Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS" sponsored a series of HIV/AIDS prevention workshops at a local church, the Buffalo News reports. The highest rates of new HIV infections are among black men who have sex with men and heterosexual women, Donna Chapman, the Buffalo coordinator of NBLCA, said. "The purpose of (the commission) is to mobilize the indigenous, African-American leadership in whatever city we go to help them make an intelligent and meaningful response to the HIV pandemic," Chapman said. The workshops were aimed at "demystifying issues surrounding the disease while also allowing participants to deal with the issue from a faith perspective," the News reports. The commission also held a breakfast for local pastors and their wives as part of its outreach mission targeting black religious leaders (McNeil, Buffalo News, 3/7).