AHF Marks Black History Month with Events Across California, US

“AIDS Is A Civil Rights Issue”-wrapped bus debuted at L.A.’s MLK
parade; will now tour to parades, film festivals, community events
during February’s Black History Month.

Healthcare Foundation
(AHF) is commemorating Black History Month,
celebrated each year in February, by participating in parades and film
festivals as well as hosting free HIV awareness and testing events
throughout California and elsewhere in the US. AHF will mark Black
History Month at the following events:

  • 2/6/16 (Saturday) Orange County Black History Parade
    205 West Center Street Promenade, Downtown Anaheim, CA 92805
  • 2/12/16 (Friday) Pan African Film Festival – ‘Wilhemina’s War’

    Location: Rave Theater Baldwin Hills Mall,
    4020 Marlton Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90008
    Time: VIP
    Reception 6:30-7:30pm, Wilhemina’s War Screening – 8:00pm-10:00pm
  • 2/13/16 (Saturday) Black Doll Exhibit, Drum Troupe Performance &
    Panel Discussion on HIV/AIDS Stigma

    Location: William
    Grant Still Community Arts Center, 2520 West View Street, Los Angeles,
    CA 90016
    Time: Exhibition 12:00 noon-5:00pm, Drum Troupe
    performance 2:00pm, Panel Discussion 2:30pm
  • 2/20/16 (Saturday) Pasadena Black History Parade
    Jackie Robinson Community Center, 1020 N. Fair Oaks Avenue, Pasadena,
    CA 91103
    Time: 10:00am

“Black History Month is a time for marginalized communities who are
currently experiencing epidemic levels of new HIV/AIDS diagnoses to be
able to come together and celebrate the achievements of African
Americans. It is a time when we nationally acknowledge the resilience
and richness of our shared black history, while collectively
strategizing solutions to modern era challenges we are facing,” said Samantha
, Senior Director of AHF Worldwide. “One of the most
enduring legacies of Martin Luther King Jr. is the way he encouraged
everyday citizens to take a stand in their communities for social
justice and equal access to jobs, economic opportunity, housing and
health care. Through our participation in Black History month, AHF is
putting a special emphasis on health care and how it relates to both
Black History, the present, and the future of this community.”

AHF unveiled its new, converted open-air bus wrapped with the “AIDS Is A
Civil Rights Issue” artwork at the Los Angeles Martin Luther King Jr.
Day Parade January 18th, kicking off the bus’ tour of
Black History Month events throughout California. The artwork features
an archival image of Martin Luther King Jr. leading a march of
sign-wielding civil rights activists during the 1960s Civil Rights
Movement. The bus next appeared at the San Diego Black Film Festival January
30th and 31st.

AHF advocates also participated in a January 29th event in
Oakland, CA: the ‘Legacy Celebration for the Honorable Ronald V.
Dellums,’ honoring Dellums’ legacy of over five decades of dedicated
public service and celebrating the occasion of his 80th birthday. During
his 27 years in congress, tenures as Berkeley City Councilmember and
Mayor of Oakland, Dellums was an early advocate for the environment,
social justice for women, immigrant rights, human rights, AIDS
prevention, boys and men of color and LGBT inequities.

As African American and Latino communities remain disproportionately
impacted by HIV/AIDS in the United States, AHF advocates and its Black
History Month partners will continue to promote the message “AIDS Is A
Civil Rights Issue” and uphold access to care and treatment for HIV/AIDS
as a universal human right. According to the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC), African Americans account for 44% of all people
with HIV/AIDS in the United States, yet only account for 12% of the
population. Latinos account for 21% of all new HIV infections
nationwide, yet only represent 16% of the U.S. population.

Disproportionately high numbers of HIV/AIDS cases among communities of
color may be caused by several factors, including:

  • Lack of access to clinics for HIV care and testing, as well as to
    condoms and safer sex educational opportunities.
  • High levels of stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS in these communities
    preventing people from learning their HIV status, or from seeking care
    and speaking honestly with their sexual partners if they are positive.
  • Both society and the healthcare industry continue to marginalize
    members of these communities both on account of sexual orientation and
    race, blocking essential treatment, care and education for those who
    need it.

In February of 2014, AHF launched its “AIDS Is A Civil Rights Issue”
billboard and public awareness campaign to coincide with the 50th
anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and held a year of town hall
discussions in eight U.S. cities that were headlined by Rev. Al
. In August, AHF held its “Vote 2 End HIV” concert featuring
Rev. Sharpton, Patti Labelle and rapper Common at the FOX
Theatre in Atlanta to commemorate the 50th anniversary of President
Lyndon Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and draw attention
to health disparities that continue to affect communities of color.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS
organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over
588,000 individuals in 35 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin
America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn
more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org,
find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth
and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare
and Instagram: @aidshealthcare


AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Ged Kenslea, Senior Director,
+1.323.308.1833 work
+1.323.791.5526 mobile