HIV/AIDS conference focusing on black people set for April 28, hosted by Eastern Oklahoma Black Nurses Association
BY SHANNON MUCHMORE World Staff Writer
Friday, April 27, 2012
4/27/12 at 5:07 AM
The Eastern Oklahoma Black Nurses Association is hosting an informational conference Saturday on HIV/AIDS and specifically its effect on the black community.
Although black people make up less than 15 percent of the U.S. population, they accounted for about 44 percent of all new HIV/AIDS diagnoses in 2009, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A disproportionate share of HIV/AIDS cases have been reported among black people since the epidemic began, according to the CDC.
Phyllis Collins, vice president of the nurses association, said the free event will offer an opportunity to sign up for free HIV testing.
The main speaker is Dr. Derrick Butler, associate medical director for the To Help Everyone clinic in Los Angeles. He will give basic facts about the disease and how it is now treated.
Many people have a poor understanding of HIV/AIDS. A person with HIV can live a full and healthy life, Butler said.
"There's still a lot of myths about it and I'm trying to dispel those," he said.
People with HIV can be afraid of stigmatization. This is particularly true in the black community, partly because of high levels of homophobia, he said.
But the best chance at a healthy life is for someone to know his or her HIV status and get treated early if necessary. Fear of stigma can be deadly, Butler said.
"This is something we can take care of," he said. "It's not a curse. It's not a scarlet letter."
When: 2 p.m. Saturday
Where: Tulsa Technology Center auditorium, 3850 N. Peoria Ave.
Original Print Headline: HIV/AIDS meeting to look at effect on black people
Shannon Muchmore 918-581-8306