(Chicago, IL) – On National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, the Illinois Department of Public Health reports that blacks in Illinois and the U.S. continue to bear a disproportionate share of the impact of the disease.
According to department data, blacks are about 14 percent of the Illinois population but account for nearly half of all HIV/AIDS cases. In the U.S. population, blacks account for 13 percent, but 44 percent of all new HIV infections. In 2007, HIV was the ninth leading cause of death for all blacks, and the third leading cause of death for black men and women aged 35-44 nationwide.
“IDPH remains committed to facilitating access to HIV testing as well as continuing to provide access to education and awareness about the disease,” said IDPH Acting Director Dr. Arthur Kohrman.
“We fully support efforts like National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day that mobilize communities to empower themselves in the effort to eradicate the spread of HIV/AIDS.”
The state health agency is sponsoring health fairs, testing events and symposiums through its Center for Minority Health Services to encourage HIV testing and continue providing education and resources about the disease in black communities statewide.
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day was created in 2000 to mobilize and provide greater access to testing, health resources and education about the disease in an effort to reverse its occurrence in the black community.