WASHINGTON, D.C., February 7, 2011 – Every 35 minutes a woman tests positive for HIV in the United States. The fact that Black women account for 9 out of every 10 newly infected females in the U.S. is even more startling. The harsh reality is that 1 in 30 Black women will be diagnosed with HIV at some point in their life.
To help combat this statistics, the Black Women’s Health Imperative (Imperative) announced today, on National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, the first phase of its ELEVATE campaign to address HIV/AIDS among Black women. The campaign launches today and will continue until June 27, 2011, which is National HIV Testing Day.
The multi-phase campaign begins with a virtual HIV testing challenge for Black women – 5,000 Women Tested. 5,000 Voices Heard – on the Imperative Web site BlackWomensHealth.ORG. The challenge will promote HIV testing among Black women and encourage women who get tested to share their testing experiences.
Women can visit BlackWomensHealth.ORG to find testing sites by simply entering their zip code, fact sheets on HIV/AIDS and other resources, e-cards encouraging female family members and girlfriends to get tested and a short, anonymous form that they can complete after they get tested.
As a member of the Act Against AIDS Leadership Initiative funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Imperative is dedicated to eliminating HIV/AIDS health disparities that currently exist among Black women. The Imperative board of directors recently reiterated the organization’s commitment to make HIV/AIDS awareness a priority and encourage other leading Black organizations to make the same promise.
ELEVATE will employ four major strategies: 1) utilize the Internet and social media to outreach to the organization’s constituents, 2) develop strategic partnerships with community-based organizations to host ELEVATE testing events in their communities, 3) develop strategic partnerships with national organizations and agencies to encourage promotion of the ELEVATE campaign to their constituents, and 4) form relationships with bloggers to disseminate HIV prevention and testing messages.
The Black Women’s Health Imperative (Imperative) is the only national organization advancing the health and wellness of our nation’s Black women and girls. Through advocacy and public policy, health education, research and leadership development, the Imperative works to advance health equity and social justice for Black women across the lifespan.