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National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day set for Thursday


A campaign against homophobia will be unveiled Thursday adjacent to Leimert Park in connection with the 13th annual National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.

“X-Homophobia” will ask participants to “support my gay brothers, fathers, sons and friends”; “respect people whose sexual orientation, identity and expression is different from my own”; “engage in affirming dialogue regarding people whose sexual identity differs from my own”; “teach my networks and my community that the gay community is our community too” and “help to eradicate homophobia.”

“Although African Americans represent just 14 percent of the U.S. population, they account for 44 percent of new HIV infections,” said Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “Sadly, young Black gay and bisexual men are among those at highest risk for infection.

“This is one reason why a campaign like ‘X-Homophobia’ is so crucial in getting the word out and pushing back against prejudice and fears that may interfere with young people getting tested, using condoms or taking other preventive measures to remain HIV-negative.”

With National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day focusing on education, testing, involvement and treatment, free HIV testing will be available at the intersection of Leimert and Crenshaw boulevards from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.