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Weeklong program addresses African-American AIDS crisis
National mobilization effort celebrated at Ohio University

ATHENS, Ohio (Feb. 5, 2007) -- Wednesday, March 7, marks the seventh annual observance of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD). This national day of recognition is designed to encourage all African Americans to get educated about HIV/AIDS, to get tested, to get involved in advocating the necessary resources to fight the disease and to get necessary treatment.

Special events will be held at Ohio University all week to educate students and community members about the issues surrounding HIV/AIDS and the specific African-American AIDS crisis.

In observance of NBHAAD, the Ohio University Office of Multicultural Programs will partner with the Ohio University College of Medicine, the Tobias Project and three student organizations, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, SHADES and POWER, to present a week of activities. All events are free and open to the public.

The weeklong educational project begins at 3 p.m. today with a presentation by POWER in the Multicultural Center in Baker University Center.

Then at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 6, in the Women's Center in Baker 403 there will be a discussion on women and their specific battles with HIV/AIDS. The discussion title is "Mind, Body and Soul."

The majority of the programming will be on Feb. 7, the national awareness day and all events will be in Baker University Center. The day begins at 10 a.m. with information and displays on the second floor.  There will be free HIV/AIDS testing from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. To participate in testing you must send an e-mail message to knowyourstatus@hotmail.com to receive a specific location and appointment.

There also will be a candlelight vigil to honor victims of AIDS. All participants should meet at College Gate at 6:45 p.m. Following the vigil, keynote speaker Rae Lewis Thornton will lecture at 7:30 p.m. in the Baker University Center Ballroom. Thornton will speak about her personal experience of being diagnosed with HIV and later AIDS. Her story has been featured in Ebony magazine, The Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, Dayton Daily News and several national TV documentaries. In addition to appearing on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and "Nightline," Thornton received an Emmy in 1996 for her role on a TV series about people living with AIDS.

Beginning at noon Thursday, Feb. 8, a selection of movies focusing on HIV/AIDS and the African-American community will be shown in the Baker Multicultural Center.

The final event of the week will be from 3 to 4 p.m., Friday, Feb. 9, in Bentley Hall room 124. Karen Daduryan, a strategic planning specialist with the United Nations Population Fund, will lead the International Studies Forum. The discussion, "Centrality of Population Issues to the International Development Agenda and Millennium Development Goals," will address reproductive health related to HIV/AIDS, gender, migration and young adults, among other topics.

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is directed, planned and overseen by seven national organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Alliances for Quality Education, Healthy Black Communities, My Brother's Keeper, National Black Alcoholism and Addictions Council, and the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS. These groups work in partnership with organizations and planners all across the United States to ensure that activities and events planned are successful and have the support they need.

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Media Contact: Media Specialist George Mauzy at 740-597-1794 or mauzy@ohio.edu

Note to media: For more information on National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2007, please visit the Web site at www.blackaidsday.org.

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