Wednesday, June 27, 2007

AIDS in Arkansas 2007

According to 2006 state Health and Human Service figures, there are 2988 Arkansans who have been identified as AIDS and 2480 with HIV infections. Official HIV reporting began in Arkansas in 1989 tracking cases statistically. However, at this date the state's system of testing is mandated by CDC regulations which is primarily name based reporting. Today I encourage you our readers to participate in National HIV Testing Day. Especially, if you have not been tested or perhaps need retesting to know your status. The Arkansas AIDS Foundation will be offering testing throughout the day at their local offices and other test sites will be available from agencies throughout the country. I've weathered this crisis from it's beginning, loosing a host of friends and acquaintances all to soon. However, we've been blessed with new science, drug development, easier regimens and individuals are living longer and stronger in the 21st centruy. If you don't know, get in the know by reviewing, sharing and passing on some of the material posted here or check out the links for additional information.

In 2007, who should be tested?...

CDC recommends HIV testing for those who have engaged in the
following behaviors that increase risk of HIV transmission:13,14
• injected drugs or steroids or shared equipment (such as needles,
syringes, works) with others
• had unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex with men who have sex
with men, multiple partners, or anonymous partners
• exchanged sex for drugs or money
• been diagnosed with or treated for hepatitis, tuberculosis, or a
sexually transmitted disease (STD), like syphilis
• had unprotected sex with anyone who falls into an above category,
or with someone whose history is unknown.

Advocates Scrapbook: Eric Camp, activist and AIDS survivor, has recapped his long term commitment to the struggles of equality and human rights. He has recounted many of his experiences in short video form as a living testament of his life's journey. I've known Eric for many years, feeling his passion and determination to be of service on many levels. I know personally that being an activist in any cause takes time and much moxie. Hat's off to you my friend...!!! These pieces are worthy of your viewing and consideration. Here are the links:

Standing in the GAP: The African American HIV University is a two-year intensive education and training program held in three segments. They include a 30-day HIV science academy and three 10-14 day trainings focusing on prevention health education, presentation development, and community mobilization, all of which are held in Los Angeles, and three six-month internships in which the fellows completed a range of assignments through their sponsoring organizations. The first cohort graduated in 2003.
Fellows are selected from HIV prevention and AIDS service organizations in the U.S. that serve the African American community. AAHU serves as a capacity building tool for these organizations in that their AAHU Fellow becomes a highly-trained HIV/AIDS science and mobilization specialist at minimal cost to the organization. The fellows also serve in their greater communities as in-house experts on HIV science, treatment and prevention.
The Black AIDS Institute was established to address HIV/AIDS health disparities by mobilizing Black institutions and individuals in efforts to confront the epidemic in their communities. Their motto describes a commitment to self-preservation: "Our People, Our Problem, Our Solution." If you are ready to take it to the next level, contact Sonya Taylor, training manager ( 213) 353.3610 Phill Wilson, serves as the Black AIDS Institue Executive Director.
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