African Americans account for 14% of the US population, but fully 44% of new cases of HIV infection, making the African American community the most at-risk population in the country. The rate of new HIV infection among black women in America is more than 15 times higher than among white women. As a result, children of African American women are more likely to become HIV positive through mother-to-child transmission of the virus. In fact, in 2005, 66% of the people living with HIV who had contracted it from their mothers were African American. The global health community has made great strides toward protecting children from HIV infection around the world, and we must continue our work here at home. Today is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, a day set aside to advocate for HIV/AIDS education, testing, involvement, and treatment for African Americans in the United States. Information regarding the impact of HIV/AIDS on African Americans can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/aa/PDF/aa.pdf.
Global Camps Africa joins its HIV-prevention and education colleagues around the United States to encourage all individuals, especially those at high risk, to get tested for HIV and know their status. To find your local testing facility visit www.hivtest.org.
All statistics courtesy of the CDC
Global Campfire event to support World AIDS Day RESTON VA- In honor of World AIDS Day on December 1, a local non-profit organization, Global Camps Africa (GCA), will host an event in Reston, Virginia.
Through high-impact camp experiences and follow-up programs, GCA provides HIV education and life skills to HIV-affected children in South Africa. Using the power of camp as its vehicle, GCA delivers these services to the under-served and at-risk population of orphans and vulnerable children from some of the neighborhoods hardest hit by the HIV epidemic in South Africa.
In keeping with the camp tradition, the World AIDS Day event, called Global Campfire 2011, will feature music, singing, and poetry readings. The campfire will take place at Lake Fairfax Park, Campsite G1, from 6:00 until 8:00 PM and will be open to the public. Global Camps Africa will also be streaming the Global Campfire event live on its web site so that people all over the world can participate virtually.
“We invite everyone to join us at Global Campfire to remember the 30 million people who have died of AIDS-related illness since 1981, and to bring attention to the continuing need for prevention, care, and treatment for HIV-affected youth around the world,” said Emily Crowder, Global Camps Africa’s Executive Director.
The theme for World AIDS Day 2011 is “Getting to Zero,” which refers to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) strategy to reduce the number of new HIV infections to zero by 2015. Global Camps Africa’s efforts to reach HIV-affected youth in South Africa with messages about prevention and empowerment are one important component of that strategy.
Phil Lilienthal, Founder and President of GCA, described the goal of the Global Campfire event, saying,“We want our campfire to bring the community who attend closer together to feel the strength of what a group can bring to a problem: even one as immense as HIV/AIDS.”
For further information, please contact Jessica Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
On June 1st, 2011, Ms. Emily Crowder was announced Executive Director of Reston-based nonprofit Global Camps Africa. Emily Crowder will join Mr. Phil Lilienthal, who will continue as President/CEO. Ms. Crowder has been working with GCA since 2010. In her new role as Executive Director, she will be responsible for organizational and Board development, operational management, and the strategic coordination of fundraising and communications activities.
Prior to joining GCA, Emily Crowder served as the Executive Team Lead at the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, where she facilitated the organization’s global strategic planning efforts, co-produced a documentary film about the Foundation’s work, and managed the Executive Office of the President and CEO. She received her graduate degree in global health policy in 2011.
Global Camps Africa changes the lives of South Africa’s vulnerable children and youth by providing HIV/AIDS prevention education and training through high-impact residential camp and day camp experiences and continuing education. Thousands of vulnerable South African children participate in camp and Kids Clubs activities each year through generous contributions from donors from around the globe. Learn more about Global Camps Africa at www.GlobalCampsAfrica.org
In honor of National HIV Testing Day, Global Camps Africa urges all Americans to get tested. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC,) approximately one out of every five Americans living with HIV are unaware of their status. HIV testing is a critical step in preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS, a disease which claims upwards of 2.8 million lives worldwide each year. To find a test center nearest you, visit HIVtest.org, call 1-800-CDC-INFO, or text your zip code to KNOWIT (566948).
With knowledge comes power: once HIV is diagnosed, medicine and proactive treatment can postpone its progression, and people living with HIV can lead longer, healthier lives.
Whether on a local, national, or global scale, education about HIV/AIDS and its prevention is a crucial step towards its eradication. From raising awareness about testing in the U.S. to teaching young children in Africa the basics of the disease, it is necessary for all of us to know about HIV/AIDS so that we can join together in the fight against it. Global Camps Africa is working to foster this mindset in the most vulnerable young people of South Africa through a residential camp which incorporates HIV/AIDS education as well as life skills and support.
Please join us on this important day to work towards empowering everyone, from Americans to South Africans, adults to children, for an AIDS free tomorrow.
Global Camps Africa changes the lives of South Africa’s vulnerable children and youth by providing HIV/AIDS prevention education and training through high-impact residential camp and day camp experiences and continuing education. Thousands of vulnerable South African children participate in camp and Youth Clubs activities each year through generous contributions from donors from around the globe. Learn more about Global Camps Africa at www.GlobalCampsAfrica.org