Dr. Marjorie Hill, the chief executive officer of The Gay Men's Health Crisis in New York along with her staff is continuing to bring awareness to HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment with their provocative ad campaigns. Last week I introduced GMHC's "I love my boo" campaign targeting African-American and Latino men and this week images of a campaign targeting African -American women have been released.
"We're Not Taking It Lying Down"! is the theme of this campaign and it seems to be urging personal responsibility when it comes to having unprotected sex and seeking treatment to fight HIV. It's no secret that black women have become infected with HIV at alarming rates. In 2004, HIV infection was the leading cause of death for African American women aged 25-34 years, the third leading cause of death for African American women aged 35-44 years, and the fourth leading cause of death for African American women aged 45-54 years.(source )
Recent studies show a decline in infections among women in New York City where these ads are being displayed down about 5 percent between 05 and 06.
However, there is still work to be done because this epidemic is far from over.
New data released by the Center for Disease Control shows that in the 33 states that collected data, the number of HIV/AIDS cases increased among adult and adolescent men who have sex with men (MSM) in all age groups from 2001 through 2005. The largest proportional increase , however, occurred among MSM ages 13-24, with African American/black YMSM in this age category suffering the largest increase -- up from 928 cases in 2001 to 1,618 cases in 2005.
Debra Hauser, Executive Vice President at Advocates for Youth released this statement to Medical News Today that I think speaks volumes to the HIV crisis we face here in America.
"This dramatic increase in HIV rates is yet another in a series of clarion calls to Congress and the Department of Health and Human Services that young people need culturally relevant and realistic sex education to protect their health and save their lives.
We will never be able to adequately address the sexual health needs of young people when our government insists upon funding abstinence-only-until-marriage programs that censor vital information about contraception and condoms and demonize homosexuality. All young people have the right to honest sexual health information."
Kudos to Dr. Hill for spearheading this campaign and Steven for the info.