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Tia Webster, 404-727-5692, twebste@emory.edu
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Janet Christenbury, 404-727-8599, jmchris@emory.edu
January 28, 2003


 



Emory University Joins Metro Atlanta in Recognition of Third Annual National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Nationwide Campaign Seeks to Mobilize the Black Community in the Fight Against AIDS



ATLANTA -- The prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the African-American community has reached epidemic proportions ≠ accounting for 38% of the AIDS reported cases in the country, while comprising only 12% of the U.S. population. In Georgia, African-Americans accounted for 61% of the total 21,477 AIDS cases from 1981 to December 1999. The Georgia Office of Minority Health also reports that almost 58% of AIDS cases in metro Atlanta were among African-Americans. It is the number one killer of African-American men and women, ages 25-44, in the U.S.



Emory University will join the Atlanta area and more than 150 communities in more than 60 cities across the United States to participate in the nationís third annual National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD) on February 7, 2003. The day is meant to call attention to the AIDS problem and seek solutions to halt the epidemic. Local HIV/AIDS organizations and civic groups across the country will aim to mobilize the black community in the fight against AIDS by conducting educational and outreach programs in their communities (including free HIV testing), town meetings and youth rallies.

EMORY CENTER FOR AIDS RESEARCH

The Emory Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) will host a seminar, "Incorporating Faith in HIV/AIDS Research" on Thursday, January 30 from 12 ≠ 2 p.m. Speakers include experts from Howard University, the Alpha and Omega HIV/AIDS Foundation and Health Initiatives, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The event will be held at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, Rita Ann Rollins Room 860, 1518 Clifton Road. (404) 712-8461.

"This seminar is an opportunity for CFAR and the Atlanta community to come together collectively to promote effective HIV prevention strategies," says Lawrence Bryant, supervisor and research coordinator for the Behavioral Science Core of the Center for AIDS Research. "This includes provision of an educational forum that provides for discussion and dialogue about how the faith community can help to prevent the spread of AIDS."

The mission of the Emory Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) is to foster and enhance HIV/AIDS research efforts designed to prevent or mitigate the suffering caused by HIV and AIDS. The Emory CFAR includes more than 120 faculty who engage in HIV/AIDS research.

SCENARIOS FROM THE SAHEL

In Africa, 1.7 million young people contract HIV every year. Kate Winskell, of Emoryís Center for Health Culture and Society (and currently an adjunct professor in the Rollins School of Public Health, International Health Department), co-manages the video project of short fiction films on HIV/AIDS. The films ≠ by leading African directors -- are created with and for young people in the Sahel region of West Africa. They are broadcast on television and used as an educational tool in schools and communities throughout Africa and beyond.

"Itís important for young people worldwide to be given a chance to make their voices heard and express their creativity," Winskell says. "They need to be given the opportunity to make a difference."

The selected short films will be shown on February 3 from 7-9 p.m. at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Site, 450 Auburn Ave. NE, Atlanta.

HOPE CLINIC OPEN HOUSE

The Hope Clinic of the Emory Vaccine Center will hold an open house on Thursday, February 6 from 6:30 ≠ 8:00 p.m. 603 Church Street, Decatur. The public is invited to learn more about community involvement in HIV research and vaccine trials that are underway in Atlanta.

"Those of us at the Hope Clinic are proud to participate in National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day events. We believe that it is necessary for the community to be our partner in the conduct of scientific research," says Mark Feinberg, MD, PhD, medical director of the Hope Clinic. "It is important for everyone to be involved in the process to equally share the benefits of medical advances. Change comes through involvement, and the Hope Clinic encourages the entire community to join the efforts of vaccine research."

The Hope Clinic is a community-based clinical research facility specifically devoted to the conduct of clinical trials of promising new vaccines. For more information about the Hope Clinic, visit www.hopeclinic.emory.edu or call 877-424-HOPE.

PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBIT & VACCINE SCIENCE DISPLAY

The Hope for Humanity: The Quest For An AIDS Vaccine exhibit was organized by the Hope Clinic in collaboration with Humanitarian Endeavors and the Fernbank Science Center. The free exhibit features the photographs of Andrew Petkun that depict the personal quiet suffering caused by the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa. A second component of this exhibition looks at the need for and development of HIV vaccines. The exhibit will run until February 17, 2003 at the Fernbank Science Center. 156 Heaton Park, Atlanta. (404) 378-4311.

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