ORLANDO - In recognition of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD), a community wide coalition of agencies led by the Multi-Cultural Addictions Network, Inc. have come together to continue raising awareness about HIV/AIDS in the black community. These coalition agencies will be conducting testing at various sites including churches in Orlando, sponsoring the screening of an award winning HIV awareness video at the downtown library, and holding a press conference, candlelight memorial and community forum at the Orlando City Hall on February 7, 2012. The entire community is invited to participate in these free events.
The Community Forum will take place Tuesday, February 7, 2010 with a press conference occurring at 5:30pm and Community Forum beginning at 6pm. The Community Forum will be held in the 2nd floor Council Meeting Room in City Hall, 400 S. Orange Ave. Orlando, FL 32801. During the community forum, there will be a program on the continuing HIV/AIDS crisis in Orlando and the nation, an interactive discussion of the crisis of HIV/AIDS in the African American community, as well as a ceremony to honor community “Unsung Heroes” in substance abuse, HIV/AIDS and community advocacy.
A screening of the award winning video “Life Support” featuring Queen Latifah will occur on Saturday, February 4, 2012 from 2- 4:00pm at the downtown public library. This free
event will include a question and answer session on “all the questions you were afraid to ask about HIV/AIDS” and facilitated by a panel of experts.
HIV/AIDS continues to be a major health concern here in Florida and Orlando. The Florida Department of Health estimates that as of October 31, 2011 there were 96,909 living with HIV/AIDS statewide. In 2009 6,574 Orange County residents were living with HIV/AIDS and statewide, 1,066 died in 2010 from complications of HIV/AIDS. This was a small decrease of 13.5%, down from 1,232 in 2009.
This year will be the 12th national observance of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, and the 10th anniversary of Orlando’s observance National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. The campaign is a national HIV testing and treatment mobilization initiative that is designed to build the capacity and increase awareness, participation and support for HIV prevention, care and treatment among Black Americans and the population in general. The primary goal of NBHAAD is to motivate Black People to get tested and know their HIV status, get educated about the transmission modes of HIV/AIDS, get involved in their local community, and get treated if they are currently living with HIV or are newly diagnosed.
For further information on the events please call 407-297-1185.
For further information on the national event, please visit the website, www.nationalblackaidsday.org.