On Oct. 29 in New York City, the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS will kick off an eight-city town hall series with local community partners, titled “Turning the Tide Together,” to address HIV/AIDS and health disparities in Black communities. Free to the public, the open forums will be held in New York City, Atlanta, Dallas, Tampa, Detroit, Washington, D.C., New Orleans and Jackson, Miss.–many of which are hot spots where the Black community is disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS.

The forums will bring together policy makers, faith and civic leaders, public health experts and the HIV-affected community to more effectively address and develop national and local responses to HIV/AIDS in light of the most recent scientific knowledge and research.

“Recent scientific breakthroughs and advances can help to stem the high rate of HIV infection in African-American communities, which have been ravaged for so long by the spread of the virus,” said NBLCA President C. Virginia Fields. “But our communities need access to all available resources, and it’s not happening fast enough. At our town hall meetings throughout the nation, we’ll be sounding a clarion call for community-level solutions and decisive action that will turn the tide once and for all.”

The New York City meeting takes place Monday, Oct. 29, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Mural Pavilion at Harlem Hospital Center, 506 Lenox Ave. at 136th Street.

The series will cover topics such as early testing and treatment as prevention; prevention methods like pre-exposure prophylaxis; and the need to ensure that the Affordable Care Act meets the needs of women and minorities living with and at risk for HIV.

NBLCA’s New York City affiliate chair, the Rev. Dr. Carl Washington, will discuss how Black clergy members are educating congregations about HIV/AIDS, reducing stigma and the importance of knowing one’s status.

For more information, you can visit nblca.org, find the group on Facebook at Facebook.com/NBLCA or follow them on Twitter @NBLCA.