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National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness day

Yacine Simporé special to the Amsterdam New | 2/7/2012, 4:47 p.m.
While Black people represent 12% of the U.S population, the department of health reports they...
Honoring 20 years of providing HIV/AIDS services in Harlem

While Black people represent 12% of the U.S population, the department of health reports they account for almost 46% of people living with HIV in the United States and 45% of new infections each year. The New York City department of health says the highest rates in NYC are diagnosed in Harlem, South Bronx, Central Brooklyn and Chelsea-Clinton.

Today, February 7th, is National Black HIV/AIDS awareness day, which is meant to raise awareness of the alarming numbers to people and to increase their vigilance in order to end the disease.

Launched in 1999 by five health organizations from across the country, this day is to mobilize the community and propose different solutions to deal with this epidemic by focusing on four key points: education, testing, involvement and treatment.

Since this health issue disproportionably infects Black population, the day of awareness was instated as part of the Black History Month to make its action toward the community more relevant.

On this day, community, faith, political leaders and many other groups and associations are all acting on different levels.

For this reason, the Kenkou Group organized a cocktail party, on February 6, to commemorate and kick off the National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness day.

Launched in May of 2010 by Shenekia Loud a professional in healthcare industry, the Kenkou group helps people understand the healthcare system and use it at its full potential.

" had the idea to create such an organization, because there is a undeniable need in our community....When someone learns that he contracted a serious disease, there is no assistance, no help to guide him to face this problem. That's why the Kenkou Group exists; we make the bridge between the healthcare agencies and the consumers." Said Loud

Today the Kenkou Group has around 280 patients who are suffering from HIV/AIDS and their event on Monday looked to their struggle. "We give them the psychological assistance they need to accept living with this disease, learning them how to deal with the drugs they have to take and providing a nurse assistance at home. " said Loud.

In the same objectives, a free Hip Hop concert is organized tonight in Harlem at the Shrine restaurant. For more information concerning this event, on www.shrine.com