Wednesday, January 13, 2010

New AIDS Campaign Targets Previously Neglected Segment of Black America

/PRNewswire/ -- Thirty-four percent of new male HIV infections are in the 40-plus age range and 36 percent of new female HIV infections are in the 40-plus age range. Yet according to the Black AIDS Institute, there have been very few campaigns targeting this population.

"Last year Washington D.C. reported that one in 10 residents between the ages of 40 and 49 had the virus," says Black AIDS Institute Founder and CEO Phill Wilson. "That is an epidemic that rivals the worst AIDS epidemics in the poorest countries on the planet."

The Black AIDS Institute has found an innovative way to help Black people ages 40 and up become more aware of HIV/AIDS while raising money to fight the disease in Black communities. The campaign is called Trump AIDS. The campaign uses the traditional Black pastime of bid whist, popular with Black Americans aged 40-plus, as a unique way to target this often overlooked HIV/AIDS demographic. The Martin Luther King Jr. weekend kick-off event in Atlanta, GA includes a Bid Whist Qualifying Tournament and Health Fair in partnership with local Atlanta organizations Sister Love and AID Atlanta.

"We are proud to partner with the Black AIDS Institute on this new and innovative awareness campaign to reach Black Americans," says Sister Love Founder and President Dazon Dixon. "When two-thirds of the new HIV/AIDS cases among women in the US are Black, now more than ever it's important to educate and reach every demographic of the Black community."

The Health Fair includes free onsite HIV testing for all Tournament attendees, players and guests. All are welcome to attend.

"Rates of HIV in persons over 50 years of age are 12 times higher among African Americans than among whites," according to Achieve Quarterly's article on HIV Prevention by Timothy G. Heckman, Ph.D. "Older people do not consider themselves at risk. Physicians rarely talk to older patients about sex or other risk behaviors."

"Trump AIDS is an unprecedented event that will provide Black people who are not actively engaged in the HIV battle with access to important health information," says Black AIDS Institute COO Aron Myers. "This is a tremendous opportunity for the Atlanta community and good citizenship for all."

"There's no way to end the AIDS epidemic in Black communities without targeting this population," adds Wilson. "The Black AIDS Institute has spent the last decade meeting Black folks where they are. Trump AIDS is a perfect example of identifying an indigenous past time in our community and using it to deliver culturally effective messaging. Everything about this effort, from the date and city where we launch the campaign to celebrity co-chairs--Danny Glover and Jackee Harry--celebrate Black culture."

"I'm proud to be a Co-Chair of the TrumpAIDS campaign," says Actor and AIDS Activist Danny Glover. "AIDS does not only affect a select demographic such as youth, women, or gays. It affects all groups of people. That is why Trump AIDS is such an important campaign for Black people to support and participate in. We must unite as a community -- for the sake of our community. To do nothing is to be part of the problem."

Trump AIDS launches in Atlanta, GA in partnership with the 7NO! Players.

"The 7NO! Players are excited to host the kick-off event in Atlanta, GA Martin Luther King Jr. weekend,' says Montez Collins, President, 7NO! Players. "We look forward to welcoming all of our regular bid whist players and any new comers who are interested in learning more about the game."

Participants are encouraged to get involved with ending the AIDS epidemic in the Black community while having fun and potentially winning prizes. For a complete list of cities hosting events and to register visit

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