Amida Care, National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS (NBLCA), and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams Host World AIDS Day Event in Brooklyn
November 15 2018
Amida Care; the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS (NBLCA); and Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams; will be joined by other advocates just before World AIDS Day to raise awareness around ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Brooklyn. Throughout the day, representatives from Bridging Access to Care will provide free HIV screenings, and representatives of Amida Care and NBLCA will be on site with information and resources for the public about HIV prevention and treatment.
The event will highlight the power of art as a therapeutic tool and as a means to break down stigma around HIV/AIDS. Amida Care is producing a special community magazine for World AIDS Day about HIV/AIDS and creative arts. The event will feature artwork, poetry readings, music, and other creative performances from community members living with HIV.
Approximately 1.1 million Americans are living with HIV, but 15%, or 1 in 7, do not know they have it. Although there is no cure, with treatment, people living HIV can become virally suppressed, which helps them live longer, healthier lives and makes it virtually impossible for them to transmit the virus to others. There are nearly 30,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in Brooklyn today, and the borough accounted for a quarter of new HIV infections in 2016 in NYC– the highest number of new diagnoses out of all five boroughs. While progress is being made to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic in New York, more needs to be done to ensure that education and outreach are reaching higher risk, underserved communities in Brooklyn. Specifically, young adults (ages 20-29) account for the largest proportion of new HIV diagnoses in Brooklyn. The LGBTQ+ community, women, and men of color are also disproportionately impacted. Neighborhoods with the highest rates of new HIV diagnoses are Bedford Stuyvesant-Crown Heights, East New York, and Williamsburg-Bushwick. Increased access and awareness around HIV testing, treatment, and prevention, including pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), are essential to address these health disparities.