February 7 marks the 10th annual National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD), a national HIV testing, treatment and awareness initiative targeting African Americans across the United States. The event is organized through a partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other national organizations and agencies. The theme of this year’s awareness day is “HIV/AIDS Prevention—A Choice and a Lifestyle!”

Blacks represent 13 percent of the U.S. population but account for more than 49 percent of AIDS cases. AIDS is the leading cause of death for black women ages 25 to 34 and the second leading cause of death for black men ages 35 to 44.

“National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day reminds us of the continuing and devastating impact of HIV in black communities, and of the nearly quarter of a million African Americans with AIDS who have lost their lives since the beginning of the epidemic,” said Kevin Fenton, MD, director of the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention. “Today, after nearly 30 years of fighting HIV in the United States, the African-American community risks losing future leaders and thinkers to this entirely preventable disease. We cannot allow this to happen.”

Visit www.blackaidsday.org for events in your community.