February 7th Marks National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

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

National HIV Testing Awareness Day

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

Emily Crowder

Emily Crowder; Executive Director Executive Director - Emily Crowder joined Global Camps Africa (GCA) in 2010 to continue her work supporting children affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa.  In her role as Executive Director at GCA, she is responsible for organizational and Board development, operational management, and the strategic coordination of fundraising and communications activities.  Prior to joining GCA, Emily 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.

Susan Jones

Secretary - Susan Jones, Reston, VA, is an organization development consultant who specializes in board and staff development in the nonprofit sector.  She is president of Susan Jones Consulting that offers customized training and workshops in team building, communications, strategic planning, conflict resolution and leadership skills, as well as meeting planning and facilitation.  She has over thirty years experience as a nonprofit board member in a wide range of community organizations including the Reston Association (past president); the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board (past chair); the Greater Reston Arts Center (past president); Reston Interfaith; and the Initiative for Public Art Reston.