"Make Our Day"
For too long and a day, HIV and AIDS has devastated our families and communities. HIV shows no favorites. It attacks everyone. Regardless of age, gender, ethnic background or sexual orientation, HIV decimates all of us.
There are approximately 1.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States. It is estimated that one-fifth of those people don't know they have it. New HIV diagnoses among Men who have sex with Men (MSM) account for the majority of new HIV/AIDS diagnoses although MSM comprise only around 2% of the U.S. male population. In 2007, a third of these MSM were younger than 30 years old. African- Americans accounted for 46% of new HIV infections diagnosed in 2006, although they comprise only 2% of the population. The HIV infection rate among African-Americans is seven times higher than the rate among European-Americans. The infection rate among Latinos is three times higher than the rate among European- Americans. HIV was the leading cause of death for African American women aged 25-34 years in 2004. 80% of newly diagnosed HIV-positive women contracted the virus through heterosexual sex. In 2006, 34% of all new infections occurred among people aged13-29- more than any other age group.
Sources: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The communities in the East Bay are as diverse as any area in the country.
According to the 2006 AIDS Epidemiologic Report, produced by the Alameda County Public Health Department, the statistics of HIV infection in the East Bay reflect the national picture. Of the 7,064 total cases diagnosed among Alameda County residents from 1980-2006, the majority were either African-American (44%) or European-American (42%); male (86%); adults ages 30-49 years (71%); men who have sex with men (61%) or were residents of Oakland (58%) at the time of diagnosis.
While the Alameda County AIDS case rate has been declining since 1992, historically it has been higher than both California and national case rates. The African-American community remains the most affected, representing almost 50% of East Bay AIDS cases. Alameda County declared a State of Emergency in 1999 due to the pandemic's effect on the African-American community.
The diversity and unity of the East Bay is manifest when individuals, communities, agencies and the corporate sector come together to say enough is enough at the East Bay AIDS Walk. We empower ourselves and one another when we realize we can make a difference.
Please join us on June 18th for the Fifth Annual East Bay AIDS Walk. Join Community Members, HIV and AIDS Organizations, Corporate Partners, and those living with HIV and AIDS, as we commit to increase awareness of HIV and AIDS in communities that are at risk of infection; stop the spread of HIV and AIDS; and increase access to treatment for those impacted by this pandemic. Make Our Day!
It is a new day. Many people who live with HIV and AIDS have lived with the disease for two and a half decades. Their needs are still real even though this is no longer a new illness. It is a new day because our commitment to better prevent new infections and increase access to treatment is renewed. We know what we can achieve when we come together. We know what we can achieve when we set our collective intentions.
Please join us as we make history.
Make Our Day!