The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has just announced a 10-city campaign in conjunction with National Women and Girls HIV Awareness Day on March 10. The Take Charge. Take the Test. campaign is being launched to increase HIV testing and awareness among African American women 18 and older.

Black women are more heavily affected by HIV and AIDS than women of any other race or ethnicity in the United States. They account for nearly 60 percent of all new HIV infections among women (and 13 percent of new infections overall). The rate of new infections among Black women is 15 times higher than among White women. There is great stigma and shame around sexuality in our community which has made conversations and efforts around prevention challenging to say the least.

The campaign is choosing to target 10 locations that have been hard-hit by the disease. They include: Atlanta; Chicago; Detroit; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Houston; Memphis, Tenn.; Newark, N.J.; New Orleans; Hyattsville, Md.; and St. Louis. The campaign consists of advertisements, posters, handouts, and a dedicated website where women can find local HIV testing locations. The CDC hopes to continue the success they had in Cleveland and Philadelphia, where Take Charge. Take the Test. community events were attended by nearly 10,000 women, and campaign messages were seen more than 100 million times. se numbers.

For more information: visit Take Charge online now.