AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) has announced ]that it has formed a national yearlong partnership with Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. through its Healthy Kappa Healthy Communities Initiatives to promote HIV/AIDS awareness, testing and treatment throughout the African-American community.
The Healthy Kappa’s Healthy Communities’ initiative is spearheaded by the fraternity’s National Health and Wellness Committee led by Dr. Edward R. Scott, II, D.M.D. The objective of Healthy Kappas Healthy Communities provides health and wellness information with measurement tools and metrics for our membership, their families and their surrounding communities; to educate them on ways to monitor their personal health status as well as to keep personal health as a priority.
According to Grand Polemarch (CEO) Thomas L. Battles, Jr., “Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. will begin embarking upon the partnership with AIDS Healthcare Foundation by ensuring that each of the twelve (12) Provinces are represented through the implementation of prevention and advocacy amongst its membership.”
“It’s the basis for our theme, Leave a Legacy: Build a Future,” continued Battles. “We aim to presently leave a significant and indelible mark on communities across the Nation through public service initiatives now and long afterward.”
With AHF, each Province of Kappa Alpha Psi will sponsor health and wellness fairs to promote the importance of advocacy, prevention and testing to include the expansion of the delivery of healthcare and influence over policy with the aim of saving more lives. Healthy Kappa’s Healthy Communities Initiative is represented by a Health & Wellness Coordinator from each of the twelve Provinces (regional) and their surrounding community resources to spotlight the importance of health in the bond of fraternity, families and for the community at-large.
“The well-documented statistics that have long shown high rates of new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths in the black community absolutely require an all-hands-on-deck approach to reaching young people and promoting the life-saving importance of using condoms, being tested regularly, and undergoing medical care to treat HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases,” said Anita Castille, chair of AHF’s Black Leadership AIDS Crisis Coalition (BLACC) Divine Nine subcommittee. “Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity has a long, distinguished history of leadership and service throughout the black community and their partnership with AHF and BLACC certainly continues this tradition. Our mutual goal is to positively impact the future of black families and we are excited to work together to save lives.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), African Americans account for 44% of all people with HIV/AIDS in the United States, yet only account for 12% of the population. Latinos account for 21% of all new HIV infections nationwide, yet only represent 16% of the U.S. population. While, the largest percentage (38%) of new HIV infections are among black males aged 13–24 years, the rate of new HIV infections among black women is 20x higher than white women and nearly 5 times that of Hispanic women. Statistics show that HIV-positive African Americans are the least likely of any race or ethnicity to be retained in medical care or to be virally suppressed through anti-retroviral drug therapy and are ten times more likely to die from AIDS-related complications.
Disproportionately high numbers of HIV/AIDs cases among communities of color may be caused by several factors, including:
Lack of access to clinics for care and HIV testing, as well as to condoms and safer sex educational opportunities.
High levels of stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS in these communities prevent people from learning their HIV status, or from seeking care and speaking honestly with their sexual partners if they know they are positive.
Both society and the healthcare industry have marginalized members of these communities both on account of sexual orientation and race, blocking essential treatment, care, and education for those who need it.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 683,000 individuals in 36 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare and Instagram: @aidshealthcare