National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day will be held Feb. 7 to encourage African Americans to get educated, get tested, get involved and get treated.
Even though African Americans make up 13 percent of the US population, they account for nearly half (49%) of all new HIV infections and half (49%) of the people living with AIDS.
Stigma also puts too many African Americans at higher risk. Many fear stigma more than knowing their status, choosing instead to hide their high-risk behavior rather than seek counseling and testing.
Awareness Day has four main objectives: to distribute information about HIV/AIDS locally; encourage African Americans to take an HIV test; increase the number of Black leaders involved locally; and to help those who test positive to become aware of treatment services and information.
Marin AIDS Project (MAP) is engaging the community with outreach, education and support and will be offering free, confidential, rapid HIV testing on Thursday, Feb. 7 at the Marin Community Service District Office from noon to 2 p.m. at 630 Drake Av. in Marin City and at the Phoenix Project of Marin from 3 p.m. -5 p.m. at 271 Drake Ave. in Marin City.
MAP offers free, confidential, rapid HIV testing every Tuesday at 910 Irwin St. in San Rafael from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Counseling and testing are offered in English and Spanish, and results are available in 20 minutes. Call (415) 457-2487 for alternative test sites and times. For information go to www.marinaidsproject.org/.