MDCH Announces Michigan's Second Annual Black AIDS Awareness Campaign

Contact: T.J. Bucholz (517) 241-2112

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 31, 2006

In an effort to better the overall health of all Michigan residents, the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) is debuting its second annual Black AIDS Awareness Campaign in February.

"The disproportionate burden of HIV/AIDS on African Americans cannot be ignored," said Dr. Kimberlydawn Wisdom, Michigan Surgeon General. "Indeed, this is a critical health issue that continues to have an impact on communities across Michigan."

The campaign begins February 1, continues through March 12, and includes the February 7 Sixth Annual Observance of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness and Information Day and the 17th Annual Black Church Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS (March 5 to 11). Activities will take place in many cities around the state (see listing).

Data from the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) clearly illustrates the impact of AIDS on African Americans. While African Americans make up just 14 percent of Michigan’s general population, they represent 58 percent of persons living with HIV/AIDS.

The rate of persons living with HIV infection is almost nine times higher among African Americans than among whites in Michigan. MDCH estimates that 1 in 100 African American males and 1 in 280 African American women in Michigan may be infected with HIV.

Last year MDCH – in conjunction with the African American Workgroup of the Michigan HIV/AIDS Council (MHAC) – unveiled its first annual Black AIDS Awareness Campaign.

"Last year we had a very successful campaign, involving many community-based agencies and local health departments, and we are hoping to build on that success," said Loretta Davis-Satterla, Director of MDCH’s Division of Health, Wellness, and Disease Control. "We cannot falter in our efforts to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS and the impact it has on the African American community."

To find an HIV testing site in your area, or to obtain more information on the attached events, please call 1-800-872-AIDS.

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