The Centers for Disease Control today is launching Take Charge. Take The Test., an HIV testing and awareness campaign specifically targeted to African-American women.
At current rates, nearly 1 in 30 African-American women will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetimes, said Dr. Kevin Fenton, director of the CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDAS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention. To help reduce this toll we are working to remind black women that they have the power to learn their HIV status, protect themselves from this disease, and take charge of their health.
The advertisements promoting the campaign all feature black women and have messages such as, You Know Him. But You Can't Know Everything and You feel as if you know him forever, but that doesn't mean you know everything. The ads can be seen below.
The CDC said the Take Charge. Take The Test. campaign will be launched in 10 cities: Atlanta; Chicago; Detroit; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Houston; Memphis, Tenn.; Newark, N.J.; New Orleans; Hyattsville, Md.; and St. Louis.
We hope to extend the reach of this campaign to multiple cities throughout the nation, help empower many more women to take control of their health, and help break the silence about HIV in their communities, said Jonathan Mermin, M.D., director of CDC's Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention.
The CDC says African-American women are far more heavily affected by HIV and AIDS than women of any other race or ethnicity in the United States.
The agency said African-American women account for almost 60 percent of all new HIV infections among women and 13 percent of new infections overall.
The rate of new infections among black women is 15 times higher than among white women, according to the CDC.
In addition to promoting HIV testing, the campaign encourages African-American women to talk openly with their partners about HIV and insist on safe sex, and to bring these same messages to other women in social settings, workplaces, living rooms, and religious congregations.
This campaign is just one part of the solution, said Donna Hubbard McCree, Ph.D., associate director for health equity the CDC's Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention. All of us have a role to play in stopping the spread of HIV among black women - by talking to our sisters, daughters, husbands, and boyfriends about how to protect ourselves against HIV and the importance of getting tested; by speaking out against stigma; and by tackling the social inequities that place so many of us at risk for HIV.
Here are some images from the campaign: