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Groups launches **** initiative for HBCUs

Posted By: on October 05, 2009

GREENSBORO, NC – The National Black Leadership Commission on **** (NBCLA), on Oct. 3 launched an initiative that aims to step up the fight against HIV/**** on historically black campuses around the nation. The kick-off was at Bennett College for Women.

C. Virginia Fields, CEO and President of NBLCA, announced the program at a Community Activism Forum sponsored by Bennett College at the Sheraton Four Seasons in Greensboro.

Fields laid a framework for a partnership with Bennett that will include a culturally competent, age-appropriate, peer led prevention education for students. The first phase will be a campus/community needs assessment, gathering input through student surveys, interviews and student rap sessions. In later phases, the effort will educate, equip and mobilize students.

Fields led a workshop in which she noted that she once marched with Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and even spent time in jail for her civil rights activism.



While economic and social disparities remain, she said, “Today’s civil rights are about health care disparities.”

She noted that African Americans are the hardest hit by HIV/**** in the U.S. More than 1 million Americans are living with HIV/****, nearly half of whom are Black, she said. According to CDC, in 2006 there were 56,000 new HIV infections, and 67 percent of them were among Blacks and Latinos.

As one of only two historically black women's colleges in the nation, Bennett is uniquely positioned to address the issue of HIV/**** in the African American Community and its impact on women, Fields said. She noted that HIV/**** disproportionate impacts Black women:

· Black women account for 64 percent of all women living with HIV/****. In 2006, Black women also accounted for 61 percent of new HIV cases among women, though they comprise only 12 percent of U.S. female population.
· HIV is the leading cause of death for Black women aged 25-34 years and they are 23 times and 4 times more likely to be living with **** than White women and Latinas, respectively.
· Eighty percent newly diagnosed infections among Black women occur from heterosexual contact
· One in every 30 Black women will be diagnosed with HIV during their lifetime.

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