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GMHC Commemorates Black History Month in Its 30th Year

Raises Urgency on New HIV Infections among Black Gay & Bisexual Men

Media Contacts:
Krishna Stone | 212.367.1016

New York, NY — As GMHC marks its 30th year anniversary, Black History Month and National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (February 7) afford the opportunity to reflect on the organization's past work in the black community while remaining committed to the work ahead. During these past three decades, GMHC has developed innovative HIV prevention programs and expanded support services that target black men and women living with and at risk of HIV.

This month, GMHC is particularly focused on raising urgent awareness about the alarming rates of new HIV infections among black gay and bisexual men.  Gay and bisexual men are the population most affected by HIV in this country, particularly black gay and bisexual men. Studies have found that nearly one in three black gay and bisexual men in major cities is infected with HIV, and the majority (59%) does not know they are infected. From 2006 to 2009, new HIV infections in young black gay and bisexual men, aged 13-29, increased by 48%.

"Clearly black gay and bisexual men face a serious uphill battle in the fight against HIV/AIDS," said Marjorie J. Hill Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of GMHC.  "We must continue to pay more attention to constructive HIV prevention messages that are tailored to this already-disenfranchised segment of our population. In fact, GMHC will be launching the HIV prevention campaign, 'Kiss & Tell' on February 14 which targets young black and Latino men, ages 13 to 19, who have sex with men."

Calendar of GMHC's Events and Participation at External Events - Black History Month (as of 2/1/12)

Friday, February 3, 10:30 am, Adam Clayton Powell State Building, 165 West 125th Street — CEO Marjorie Hill, PhD provided remarks at a press conference hosted by Senator Bill Perkins to launch a public service campaign, "Together We Can End AIDS." GMHC also provided free testing.

Saturday, February 4, 11:00 pm, The Alchemist Lounge, 31 Rockwell Place, Brooklyn--GMHC will provide free testing at the Latex Party, hosted by Ladies Night VIP and the SOMWA (Survivors of Mothers with AIDS) Foundation.

Monday, February 6, 9:30 am, Dwyer Cultural Center, 258 Saint Nicholas Avenue — GMHC will provide free HIV testing at the Centers for Disease Control and NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's launch and celebration of the national campaign in New York City, "Testing Makes Us Stronger" which targets black gay and bisexual men. GMHC is a local sponsor of the campaign. CEO Marjorie Hill, PhD will be attending the celebration.

CANCELLED Tuesday, February 7, 11:00 am, City Hall — Ace Robinson, Managing Director of Community Health & Research, Public Policy and Advocacy will provide remarks at the National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Rally hosted by VOCAL-New York, a community-based organization that works with people affected by HIV/AIDS, substance use and incarceration.

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About GMHC:  GMHC is a not-for-profit, volunteer-supported, and community-based organization committed to national leadership in the fight against AIDS. We provide prevention and care services to men, women, and families that are living with, or affected by, HIV/AIDS in New York City. We advocate for scientific, evidence-based public health solutions for hundreds of thousands worldwide.  Our mission:  GMHC fights to end the AIDS epidemic and uplift the lives of all affected.