A woman uses the Oraquick method to get tested on NBHAAD 2006.

Feb. 7 is the 11th anniversary of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD), which is a testing-and-treatment mobilization initiative targeting black communities. The initiative is overseen by the National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Strategic Leadership Council. Each year, community stakeholders plan activities and events to raise awareness about HIV testing.

There are five organizations in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to bring awareness to this issue. They are Alliances for Quality Education, Inc.; Healthy Black Communities, Inc.; Multi-Cultural Addictions Network, Inc.; My Brother's Keeper, Inc.; and the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS. The website boasts an interactive map that will help users locate NBHAAD activities and events by state.

The CDC reports that estimates of HIV incidence for 2006 indicated that blacks had a rate of 83.7 per 100,000 population, compared with 11.5 for whites. In 2006, male-to-male sexual contact was associated with an estimated 63 percent of new HIV infections among black males. Among black females, high-risk heterosexual contact was associated with an estimated 83 percent of new infections.

Data from the CDC's National HIV Behavioral System show that in 2008, 59 percent  of HIV-infected black men who have sex with men did not know that they were infected, compared with 26 percent of white men having sex with men. Two of the three goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy are to reduce new HIV infections and HIV disparities. The message is simple and clear: Get tested and get treatment.

Read more at NBHAAD or the CDC Report.

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