According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), African Americans accounted for nearly half of all new HIV infections in 2010, despite making up only 14% of the population. During today’s National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD), communities throughout the US are coming together to draw attention to this critical health challenge, and to promote national HIV/AIDS testing and treatment for African Americans. The theme of the Awareness Day, _I Am My Brother’s/Sister’s Keeper: Fight HIV/AIDS_, underscores that all African Americans, regardless of sexual orientation, economic class, or educational level, can work together to lessen the impact of the HIV epidemic in African American communities.

Located in the heart of Harlem, New York, ICAP’s Harlem Prevention Center has worked since 2009 to strengthen the health of underserved communities in New York City through research and services aimed at preventing disease and reducing health disparities. The Center is a clinical research site of the “HIV Prevention Trials Network”:http://www.hptn.org/index.htm (HPTN), a worldwide network funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health that develops and tests structural, behavioral, and antiretroviral approaches to HIV prevention. Ongoing Center studies include the Alternate Dosing Strategies to Augment PrEPPill-taking (ADAPT) Study, which is assessing innovative dosing strategies to use medication as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV infection, and the NIDA-funded Seek, Test, and Retain (STAR) Study, which is evaluating various methods to engage Black men who have sex with men (MSM) in HIV testing, and, for those found to be HIV positive, linking them to medical care.

In observance of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, the Harlem Prevention Center will join a community forum hosted by the Harlem Hospital Center today from 3:00 – 6:00pm. The Center will share information about completed and on-going HIV Prevention Trials Network studies, and other participating groups will provide HIV testing, Hepatitis C screening, and flu shots. Dr. Monica Sweeny, assistant commissioner for the NYC Bureau of HIV/AIDS Prevention, will give the keynote address. Local artists and entertainers will also perform musical selections and spoken word.

Learn more about how you can promote HIV prevention, testing, and treatment today, and how to get involved in “National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day”:http://www.blackaidsday.org/.

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