Health and Fitness

IL Health Department Encourages Testing, Education on National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–February 7, 2012.  In recognition of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is sponsoring health fairs, testing events and symposiums through its Center for Minority Health Services to encourage HIV testing and continue providing education and resources about the disease in black communities statewide.

Blacks are disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS globally and locally. Although 13 percent of the U.S. population, blacks account for 44 percent of all new HIV infections. Blacks are about 14 percent of the Illinois population but account for nearly half of all HIV/AIDS cases. In 2007, HIV was the ninth leading cause of death for all blacks, and the third leading cause of death for black men and women aged 35-44 nationwide.

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day was created in 2000 to mobilize and provide greater access to testing, health resources and education about the disease in an effort to reverse its occurrence in the black community. This year’s theme is “I Am My Brother’s/Sister’s Keeper: Fight HIV/AIDS!”

“IDPH remains committed to facilitating access to HIV testing as well as continuing to provide access to education and awareness about the disease,” said IDPH Acting Director Dr. Arthur Kohrman. “We fully support efforts like National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day that mobilize communities to empower themselves in the effort to eradicate the spread of HIV/AIDS.”

In 2005, IDPH launched BASUAH – Brothers and Sisters United Against HIV/AIDS – to promote HIV/AIDS awareness among communities of color through education, collaboration and community engagement. Please visit for a full list of events and testing locations statewide, or use IDPH’s Text2Survive mobile calendar by texting “event” to 36363 for free events statewide.

Text2Survive also provides local HIV testing locations by texting IL and a ZIP Code to 36363. Text “centro” plus the ZIP Code to 36363 to receive the information in Spanish.

Additionally, help commemorate National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day by joining the IDPH Center for Minority Health Services’ “Twibbon” Campaign to place the awareness badge on Facebook and Twitter profiles. Also visit and send e-card reminders to friends and loved ones to get tested.

For more information, please call the IDPH HIV/AIDS and STD hotline at 1-800-243-2437 and visit the IDPH website at