Today is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, and while undeniable progress has been made nationally and in New Jersey preventing and controlling the virus, statistics indicate just how much needs to be done.
Of the 37,000 people with HIV living in New Jersey, 79 percent are minorities, according to the New Jersey Human Development Corp. (NJHDC). Eighty-eight percent of pediatric HIV/AIDS cases in the state are minorities.
“Although we have made great progress in reducing transmissions of HIV, residents are still becoming infected with a preventable disease,” New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Cathleen D. Bennett. “Minority communities are disproportionately affected, and African American residents represent 50 percent of those currently living with HIV/AIDS in the state.”
The National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day commemoration event will take place at the Great Hall and Community Center at Greater Mt. Zion AME Church, 42 Pennington Avenue in Trenton. Commissioner Bennett will speak at 10 a.m.
The NJHDC is a nonprofit organization of the African Methodist Episcopal Church that provides communities with knowledge, skills, and services to help prevent and control HIV.
Follow this link for information about HIV/AIDS counseling and testing, or call 1-800-624-2377.