Stillman to observe National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day as inaugural member of HBCU Get Communities Tested Initiative
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD) is Monday, February 7. Stillman College has joined “HBCU Get Communities Tested,” an initiative, aimed at engaging students and supporters of historically black colleges and universities to inform and inspire communities of color to awareness and prevention. This year’s theme is “It Takes A Village to Fight HIV/AIDS”. Free, confidential testing and an educational exhibit will be available on the 7th from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on the second floor of the Hay College Center on the blue carpet.
“HBCUs have served as the anchor in African American villages for over a quarter of a century. They are uniquely qualified to lead this call to action. Who better to get communities involved than those who are a part of the community? While NBHAAD is observed on February 7th annually, we are confident that the HBCU initiative will produce a relationship that engages the community in HIV/AIDS prevention all year long,” said Rhonda Waller, Ph.D., who serves as director of training and technical assistance for Alliances for Quality Education in Largo, Md.
“Inaugural members of NBHAAD’s ‘HBCU Get Communities Tested’ include: Stillman College, Florida A&M University, Ft. Valley State University, Savannah State University, Clark Atlanta University, Grambling State University, Jackson State University, Tougaloo College, Winston-Salem State University, Meharry Medical College, Texas Southern University, Huston-Tillotson University and Virginia State University,” informed Waller.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends routine HIV/AIDS testing and says that everyone should be tested. On their website, www.cdc.gov, states and community leaders are encouraged to “promote evidence-based policies and develop programs to prevent HIV from spreading.”
Stillman alum, Maxine Neal, serves as HIV Outreach Coordinator for Maude Whatley and will administer the testing. “We use the OraQuick Advance mouth swab test to deliver people fast and accurate results,” said Neal. She continued, “The results are available in 20-30 minutes and are 99.9 percent effective.”
“Maude Whatley is a community health center and is very involved with HIV/AIDS prevention. They perform the testing,” said Jacqueline Currie, Stillman’s Director of Student Development. “We have had a long relationship with them. In fact, Ms. Neal comes every month to administer the free testing here on our campus. Stillman students are serious about their health and many take advantage of the free screening,” said Currie.
For more information regarding monthly testing dates at Stillman, contact Jacqueline Currie at firstname.lastname@example.org or 366-8894. Additional information regarding HIV/AIDS can be found by calling the Alabama HIV/AIDS Hotline at 1-800-228-0469 or by contacting the CDC National STD and AIDS Hotline at 1-800-342-2437.
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