World AIDS Day—The NAACP Educates and Urges Testing

Saturday, December 1st, we commemorate World AIDS Day.

The fight against the spread of HIV and AIDS has been an uphill battle for over 30 years. Thousands of lives have been lost, families have been torn apart, dreams have been shattered, and the burden of this disease remains on our community's shoulders. African Americans represent approximately 14% of the U.S. population and African Americans account for almost half (46%) of the people currently living with HIV. The harsh reality is that approximately 1 in 16 African American men, as well as, 1 in 32 African American women will be diagnosed with HIV during their lifetime.

Despite these dreadful statistics, America’s focus on HIV is beginning to diminish as the virus continues to spread. We must focus on specific ways to end the spread of this virus. One way to end the spread is by taking the initiative of knowing the facts about HIV and knowing your status. Free testing is available—click here to find a testing site near your home.

The Black Church and the NAACP have been partners in the struggle for equity and justice since the inception of our organization. It has been over two and a half years since the NAACP worked closely with over 250 African-American senior faith leaders across mainline denominations to address HIV/AIDS in the Black community. As a result of these conversations, the NAACP launched a HIV faith and social justice manual titled The Black Church and HIV: the Social Justice Imperative. For more information about this initiative, please visit The Black Church and HIV.

The NAACP National Office is also partnering with units in the following cities and college campuses to host World AIDS Day 2012 events: Asbury Park, NJ; Augusta, GA; Brooklyn, NY; Hampton University; Jackson, TN; Mesa, AZ; Ocala, FL; Ohio State University; San Bernardino, CA; Texas Southern University; and University of Houston, TX. Please contact your local NAACP unit for more information. 

The fight against HIV and AIDS is a fight we can one day win. Join us as we work together to end this insidious epidemic and eradicate this disease.

Courage must not skip this generation!