Press Release
 February 6, 2014
Melaney Arnold (217) 558-0500

Illinois Department of Public Health Encourages Education, Testing, Involvement and Treatment on National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

SPRINGFIELD – In recognition of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is sponsoring health education information and testing events through its Center for Minority Health Services. IDPH is encouraging African Americans to Get Educated, Get Tested, Get Involved and Get Treated, if needed, in commemoration of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.

“While African Americans face the most severe burden of HIV and AIDS of any racial/ethnic group in the nation, prevention efforts have helped to maintain stability in the overall level of HIV infections among African Americans for more than a decade,” said IDPH Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck. “Let’s continue our efforts and challenge our family, friends, communities, workplaces and places of worship to Get Educated, Get Tested, Get Involved and Get Treated, if needed!”

Blacks are disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS globally and locally. Blacks make up only 12 percent of the U.S. population, but make up 44 percent of all new HIV infections. In Illinois, blacks account for 48 percent of all HIV/AIDS cases. Currently, Illinois has the sixth highest number of diagnosed HIV infections and is also sixth nationwide in the estimated number of AIDS cases. Approximately one in 16 black men will be diagnosed with HIV during their lifetime, as will one in 32 black women.

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is designed to increase the awareness of HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment among blacks, and 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.

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

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

Sponsoring education and testing events for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is just one way IDPH is working to eliminate health disparities. Increasing health equity and reducing disparities for the people of Illinois through targeted leadership and outreach via strategic partnerships is a priority of the IDPH Five Year Strategy 2014-2018. For a copy of the strategic plan, go to

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Illinois Department of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
Phone 217-782-4977
Fax 217-782-3987
TTY 800-547-0466
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