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Black AIDS Mobilization Gains Momentum with Congressional Black Caucus Call to Action

-State of AIDS in Black America Report Outlines Mass Response to Epidemic-

WASHINGTON, Sept. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new national report by the Black AIDS Institute on the State of AIDS in Black America was released today at a news conference hosted by members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) at the Cannon House Office Building, Cannon Terrace.


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In conjunction with the report -- We're the Ones We've been waiting for: The State of AIDS in Black America and what we are doing about it!, the Congressional Black Caucus released an open letter calling for a mass Black mobilization to end the AIDS epidemic in black America and the development of a national AIDS plan in the United States.

This "Call to Action" is part of a national coordinated campaign and mass Black response to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic, being organized by The Balm In Gilead, The National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS and the Black AIDS Institute and includes a national HIV testing campaign with a goal of providing HIV screening for 1 million African Americans by Dec. 1, 2008 -- World AIDS Day.

CBC members present included:

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX)

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA)

Rep. Diane Watson (D-CA)

Rep. Donna Christian Christiansen (D-V.I.)

Sixteen leading Black institutions from various sectors of the community have also joined the campaign, including faith, civil rights, media, entertainment, academia, and politics.

"The unfortunate reality is that to be Black in America is to be at greater risk of HIV/AIDS, and we are here today to reaffirm our commitment to changing that reality," said U.S. Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA). "This is not an ideological issue. It is a moral and humanitarian call for equality and justice, and each of us must do our part."

Also during the conference, the National Newspaper Publishers Association, representing more than 200 African American newspapers, announced a series of editorials on HIV/AIDS written by national community and religious leaders.

Over the last decade, Black people have come to bear the greatest burden of AIDS in America. They represent 54 percent of the new HIV/AIDS cases in America, 70 percent of the new cases among American youth are Black, nearly 67 percent of the new HIV/AIDS cases among American women are Black, and 43 percent of the new cases among men are Black. Most importantly, the majority of those still dying from AIDS in America, totaling more than 18,000 last year, were Black.

Launched last fall by an array of Black leaders representing elected officials, civil rights, faith, media and entertainment and business, this on-going campaign and Black AIDS Mobilization (BAM) is committed to ending the AIDS epidemic in Black America by 2012 by:

-- Cutting the HIV rates in Black America by 50%

-- Increasing the number Black Americans who know their HIV status by 50%

-- Increasing the number Black Americans in appropriate early

care/treatment by 50%

-- Reducing HIV/AIDS stigma in Black America by 50%

Learn more at,, and

Contact: Xina Eiland, 202-321-8022

Toya Watts, 202-544-1011

SOURCE Black AIDS Institute
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