Baltimore, MD (February 1, 2013) – The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) joins the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), African American organizations, and local public health agencies’ in observing National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NHBAAD) on February 7, 2013. This year’s theme is “Our Ancestors Fought That We Might Be Free - Even from HIV.”
The CDC, estimates more than 1.1 million people are living with HIV in the United States. On December 31, 2010, Maryland had 30,132 total living HIV cases; 78 percent of the cases were among African Americans, of which 61 percent were male and 39 percent were female. The three highest modes of HIV transmission for African Americans in Maryland were injection drug use (39 percent), heterosexual exposure (34 percent), and male homosexual exposure (22 percent).
“African Americans continue to be disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS,” said Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, DHMH secretary. “We are working together towards the goal of a Maryland with no new HIV infections.”
“Residents 13 years of age and older are reminded to get tested for HIV,” said Prevention and Health Promotion Administration Director Michelle Spencer. “It is crucial for Marylanders who test positive for HIV to avoid sharing drug needles, inform sexual partners about their HIV status, avoid unprotected sex, seek treatment, and follow treatment regimens.”
On February 6, 2013, DHMH will support Coppin State University, Bowie State University, and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore in hosting the NBHAAD commemorative events at the following locations: Coppin State University, Talon Center Atrium, 2500 W. North Avenue, Baltimore Maryland, from 10 am to 3 pm; Bowie State University, Wiseman Student Center, Room 102, 14000 Jericho Park Road, Bowie Maryland, from 12 pm to 3 pm; and University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Student Center, Princess Anne, Maryland, from 6 pm to 8 pm.
For information about HIV education, testing, treatment and support services in Maryland, please call 410-767-5132, or go to http://ideha.dhmh.maryland.gov