National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Program in Paducah

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 6, 2017

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Program in Paducah

“African Americans comprise only 8% of the population of Kentucky, but a third of all HIV/AIDS cases in the state. It’s critical for our community to educate ourselves and others on the facts about HIV and the impact of this disease on all of us.” – Albert Parker, Outreach Ministries for the Healing of AIDS

Paducah, KY – Outreach Ministries for the Healing of AIDS (OMHA), a partnership of seven predominately African American churches in the Paducah area, announced their event in recognition of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. The event will be held on February 11, 2017, from 1 pm to 4 pm, at the J O Griffin Chapel and Learning Center, 823 N 9th Street, Paducah.

OMHA, working in collaboration with Heartland CARES- the HIV /AIDS care and services provider for western Kentucky and southern Illinois- will offer a program including free confidential HIV testing and discussions of HIV prevention, treatment and care services available locally. The speakers will include area residents living with HIV and leading health care providers and experts in the field, including Heartland CARES physician Dr. Carl LeBuhn, Kentucky Department for Public Health HIV/AIDS Branch representative Beverly Mitchell, Ninth Street Tabernacle Ministries Deacon & Heartland CARES client Albert Parker, and Heartland CARES Executive Director Sean Oslin.

The event is being coordinated by Albert Parker, who has lived with HIV for more than 20 years. “African Americans comprise only 8% of the population of Kentucky, but a third of all HIV/AIDS cases in the state. It’s critical for our community to educate ourselves and others on the facts about HIV and the impact of this disease on all of us.”

According to Dr. Carl LeBuhn, “AIDS is no longer a death sentence. It is now a highly treatable health condition. Many patients only need one pill a day to manage HIV. The sooner a person is tested and starts treatment, the better he or she can keep HIV at bay. Many people can live a normal lifespan with HIV and even marry and have children.”

Sean Oslin added, “Benefits of HIV treatment are twofold. The patient benefits from improved health, but he or she is much less likely to pass HIV onto someone else. Considering the large number of people who are HIV positive but don’t know their status, this ‘Treatment as Prevention’ will help us turn the tide on new HIV infections.”

Oslin continued, “We have the resource in western Kentucky and southern Illinois to help those living with HIV. We appreciate this opportunity share information about Heartland CARES’s services and better serve the African American community. Hope is here.”

“We hope everyone will join us on Saturday. Everyone is welcome to attend the program, because HIV impacts all of us,” Parker concluded.

NOTE: The actual date of National Black HIV Awareness Day is Tuesday, February 7, but OMHA organizers decided that attendance would be better on a Saturday, so the program was scheduled for February 11.

For more information visit www.hcares.org

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Outreach Ministries for the Healing of HIV/AIDS (OMHA) is a consortium of pastors and community leaders working to employ a viable support system for those living with HIV/AIDS. Current churches supporting OMHA include First Baptist Church, Greater Love Baptist Church, Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, Ninth Street Tabernacle Ministries, Restoration Christian Ministries, The Way of Christ Church, and Washington Street Baptist Church.
Heartland CARES, Inc. is a non-profit organization providing comprehensive, client-centered, quality health care, support services, prevention education, and HIV testing.