ALAMEDA COUNTY: Launches HIV Prevention Campaign Targeting Latinos, Blacks
The Alameda County Public Health Department yesterday kicked off an educational campaign persuading those hardest hit by HIV/AIDS to get tested. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the campaign, paid for by a $300,000 state grant, will target the "highest risk category" among Latinos and blacks in the Oakland area -- "intravenous drug users and men who are having sex with other men." At kick-off events in downtown Oakland, Maurice Lee of AIDS Project East Bay said, "This is a fight for education, a fight against ignorance and a fight for our communities." Under the campaign, six Oakland community organizations that provide HIV/AIDS service to minorities will offer "free oral or blood testing." In addition, the project will place billboard and posters encouraging HIV testing "in downtown Oakland, near BART stations and in East and West Oakland, where a majority of the city's blacks live." AIDS advocates said two problems in the minority community contributing to the spread of the disease is mistrust of the medical community and secrecy about bisexuality that leaves many women unaware of their male partner's sexual activities. Last November, the county became the first in the nation to declare a public state of emergency for the HIV crisis in the black community (Walker, 2/24).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.