Columbus Recognizes February 7th as National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
HIV/AIDS Rates Amongst African Americans in Franklin County Higher than National Average
[COLUMBUS-OH] In Franklin County, African-Americans are three times more likely to be diagnosed with HIV than Whites. This is an overwhelming and terrifying statistic from Columbus Public Health and the Ohio Department of Health.
Furthermore, African Americans are the racial/ethnic group most affected by HIV and accounted for an estimated 48% of all new HIV infections among adults and adolescents (aged 13 years or older) in 2014, despite representing only 28% of the population. The national average is 44%.
However, none of these figures have to materialize.
City of Columbus Councilmember Shannon Hardin presented a resolution to recognize Feb. 7, as National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in the city to bring the issue to the forefront.
“While there are many awareness days for a variety of issues and all of them carry great importance for the national conscience, I would be remiss if I did not highlight this day and this issue in the African American community,” said Hardin.
Hardin presented a resolution before the council on February 1, 2016, to highlight this issue and bring awareness to the entire community.
“We are all aware of the scourge that is HIV/AIDS, the unique medical challenges of the disease, and the unique challenges the disease presents to the black community.”
African Americans are the racial/ethnic group most affected by HIV and accounted for an estimated 44% of all new HIV infections among adults and adolescents (aged 13 years or older) in 2010, despite representing only 12% of the US population, the CDC reports. Franklin County is higher than the national average at 48%.
“Columbus is in need of interconnected involvement in the spheres of the individual, the social and the structural. Those three areas must bind together in a seamless way so that our conversations around HIV/AIDS are helpful, constructive and productive,” said Hardin.