Statement From U.S. Bobby L. Rush On National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day February 7
WASHINGTON ---(February 6, 2006) I want to applaud the national and community organizers on yet another successful National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Today is an important time for the African American community as it affords us the opportunity to raise awareness on HIV/AIDS, which continues to devastate our community at an alarming rate. Of AIDS cases diagnosed since the epidemic began through 2004, African Americans account for 40 percent but are only 12.2 percent of the U.S. population. African American women accounted for 67 percent of AIDS diagnoses among women during the same time frame. This number can only be reduced through a concentrated effort toward building awareness, widespread communication and taking action to prevent future cases of HIV/AIDS.
We should also use National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day to honor and learn from our brothers and sisters who have been impacted by this disease. It is only through the human experience that our compassion deepens and our knowledge base broadens on critical issues such as HIV/AIDS. HIV/AIDS is not an issue that can be conveniently filed away as a taboo subject if we are to truly reduce the rate of infection and eradicate this disease. Its time for us to speak out and stop the spread of HIV/AIDS, and that work begins today.