( February 1, 2016 ) CHICAGO, IL - In recognition of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, February 7, 2016, U.S. Congressman Danny K. Davis, IL 7th District, WHARP ( Westside HIV/AIDS Regional Planning Council ) and over 50 invited community leaders and nonprofit organizations join together to host their annual press conference at Mile Square Health Clinic on Friday, February 5, 2016. The press conference will announce the renewal of the Red Ribbon Cash Lottery Ticket ( SB 2397 ), introduced by IL Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins, 16th Legislative District. 100% of the profits from the Red Ribbon Cash Lottery Tickets go towards the prevention and care for those fighting HIV/AIDS in Illinois. During the press conference a call to action urging all citizens to get tested to know their status for HIV, especially the African American community, which is disproportionality affected by the HIV epidemic.
Nearly half of the total AIDS cases reported and almost half of the persons living with HIV in the U.S. are African American, even though they represent just 14 percent of the U.S population, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ). Health officials note that knowing one's HIV status, prevention education, avoiding or delaying sexual activity, decreasing the number of sexual partners, safer sex practices and getting into treatment if infected remain the most effective means of efforts to eradicate HIV/AIDS.
Friday, February 5, 2016, Media Check-in: 9:30 a.m. 10 a.m., Press Conference: 10 a.m. 11 a.m. Location: Mile Square Health Clinic, 1220 S. Wood Street 2nd Floor, Chicago, IL 60608
- U.S. Congressman Danny K, Davis, IL 7th District
- Illinois Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins, 16th Legislative District
- Illinois Senator LaShawn K. Ford, 8th Legislative District
- Henry Taylor, Executive Dir. of University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System
- Eduardo Alvardo, HIV/AIDS Section Chief, Illinois Department of Public Health
- Dr. Robert Winn, M.D. Associate Vice President for Health Affairs
- Atara Young and Sherman Bryant, BTAN
- Ramon Gardenhire, AIDS Foundation of Chicago
- Erik Glenn, Chicago Gay Black Men's Caucus
- Jolietta Holliman, Connect 2 Protect and WHARP, Mistress of Ceremony
WHY: CDC's recent progress report which lists Illinois far below the national average for persons ever tested for HIV. The present need for Illinois to be in full alignment with CDC's recommendation for routine HIV screening in Medical Settings to increase HIV screening across our state. Major advances in screening technology to detect HIV earlier and specifically identify people who may be in the acute phase of HIV infection where they are highly infectious and likely to spread the disease. Promotion of the HIV Testing Task Force subcommittee that focuses on removing barriers in medical settings to ensure routine HIV screening becomes a standard of care.
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day: National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is a national HIV testing and treatment community mobilization initiative that targets Black communities, both domestically and internationally. The initiative was founded in 2000 by five national organizations funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 1999 to provide capacity building assistance to Black communities and organizations.