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Forum's Coverage of the NABJ Convention 2010

NABJ Convention 2010 >>

Black AIDS Institute partnered with NABJ to promote “Test 1 million” campaign
San Diego (Forum Report) - The Black AIDS Institute has partnered with the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) to increase awareness among the black community about the importance of HIV testing.

At a press conference during the NABJ Convention on July 29, Phil Wilson, founder and chief executive officer of the Black AIDS Institute, and actress Regina King urged the journalists to highlight the importance of HIV testing through their reports.

NABJ members working in different news media also can convince their respective news managements to regularly cover the status of HIV testing in the black community, Regina King said.

Phil Wilson said that the prevalence of HIV infection is higher among the black males and females compared to whites. According to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), blacks account for 69 percent of new HIV/AIDS cases among American teens every year (Black AIDS Institute).

Dexter Mullins reports for nabjconvention.org: King volunteered to work with the organization three years ago, and openly took an HIV test in public and had her results shared publicly. Her results were negative but she said it was a scary experience because she had not taken a test in a while, but the message she was sending encouraged her to do it.

“I’ve had a friend who has been living with HIV for 19 years now,” King said. “Those stories need to be brought to the forefront more often. I think that so many young people feel like if they find out they are HIV positive … it’s like a death sentence.”

King told journalists in the room that there is a celebrity in virtually every city who will publicly stand up and support the initiative to get tested. However, she said, journalists don’t need to wait for celebrities.

“(Journalists) should also publicly get tested and broadcast it on the radio, at your station, or write about it,” King said. “You’ll save lives. You will literally save lives.”

Posted on Aug. 11, 2010

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The site last updated on August 11, 2010