Baltimore, MD (February 6, 2012) - The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's (DHMH) Infectious Disease and Environmental Health Administration (IDEHA) is observing National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD) on February 7 by reminding individuals to get talking, get tested, and get treatment. DHMH joins national African American organizations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state and local public health agencies' efforts to address the disproportionate impact of the HIV epidemic in African American communities throughout the nation. African Americans have the highest rates of HIV among all racial/ethnic groups in the nation.
Visit DHMH and Total Health Care, Inc. at 1200 Mondawmin Mall Concourse in Baltimore for a community healthfair, HIV/AIDS testing and more from 3:30- 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
"Knowing your HIV status is important for everyone.  This is a great opportunity to get tested and to bring friends and loved one to do so as well," said Frances Phillips, DHMH Deputy Secretary of Public Health Services.  "If you or someone you know is living with HIV, get treatment. It can save your life and theirs."
DHMH is committed to achieving the National HIV/AIDS Strategy goal of reducing HIV-related disparities.  Many local health departments and community-based organizations in Maryland are engaged in activities to increase awareness about HIV in African American communities.
"Approximately 78% of Maryland's HIV cases are among African Americans," said Heather Hauck, Director of IDEHA. "Initiatives across the state, to increase access to health care and address health disparities, will help improve HIV health outcomes in Maryland.

According to the CDC, despite representing only 14 % of the United States population in 2009, African Americans accounted for 44% of all new HIV infections in that year. In Maryland, at the end of 2010, 1-in-55 African-American men and 1-in-98 African-American women were living with HIV.
For information about HIV prevention, testing, treatment and support services, please call 410-767-5227 or go to . You can visit to find NBHAAD for events near you.

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