LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--To commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, observed this Monday, January 20th, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is releasing a new national billboard awareness campaign headlined “AIDS is a Civil Rights Issue.”
As African American and Latino communities continue to be disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS compared with their respective percentages of the overall population, AHF’s billboards are intended to serve as a reminder of this and suggest that access to HIV prevention and care and treatment for HIV/AIDS should be a universal human right.
Currently African Americans account for 44% of all people with HIV/AIDS in the United States, yet only account for 12% of the population. Latinos account for 21% of all new HIV infections nationwide, yet only represent 16% of the U.S. population.
“We decided to commemorate the Martin Luther King Holiday with the launch of ‘AIDS is a Civil Rights Issue,’ our new national awareness and advocacy campaign,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “Through the campaign, we hope to open dialogue with stakeholders in the community, the public health arena, and faith-based groups as well as public officials.”
The billboard campaign is to run in Atlanta; Washington, DC; Columbus, Ohio; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Jackson, Mississippi; South Florida and in Los Angeles, where AHF is partnering on the campaign with the group with In The Meantime Men whose mission is, “…to enrich, empower, and extend the lives of intergenerational black men, respectful of sexual orientation, through social, educational, health and wellness programs and services.” In most of the cities, the campaign will also be posted as transit shelter ads.
Disproportionately high numbers of HIV/AIDs cases among communities of color may be caused by several factors, including:
- Lack of access to clinics for care and HIV testing, as well as to condoms and safer sex educational opportunities.
- High levels of stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS in these communities prevent people from learning their HIV status, or from seeking care and speaking honestly with their sexual partners if they know they are positive.
- Both society and the healthcare industry have marginalized members of these communities both on account of sexual orientation and race, blocking essential treatment, care, and education for those who need it.
AIDS Is A Civil Rights Issue Join us and a multitude of faith-based communities in the South in illuminating and fighting the persisting bias against communities of color as we collectively strive to lower the incidence of HIV/AIDS, and together we can ensure all communities have equal access to the tools we need in this fight.
About AIDS Healthcare Foundation
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to more than 279,000 individuals in 32 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare.