May 15, 2003

A Call to Action

[ From Keith Boykin's website; he's a signee ]

In a first-of-its-kind summit convened by the Los Angeles-based Black AIDS Institute, the group of black gay men met in Miami at the end of April to hammer out a strategy for dealing with AIDS in their communities and industries.

At the end of their three-day brainstorming session, the group of doctors, lawyers, corporate executives, writers and scientists, began drafting a joint statement, released today, which challenges African Americans to make HIV awareness a priority in their daily lives.
?Our community must recognize that this is a state of emergency," the statement said. "We must each speak openly about living with HIV -- whether we are infected or not, we?re all affected."

The group called on blacks to be engaged in the fight against AIDS, but also challenged local, state and federal governments to do more. "What we don't know will kill us, so we must get tested to learn our own HIV status. If we are positive, we must get into treatment. Regardless of our status, we must protect ourselves and our partners from the virus? continued spread," the statement said.

The group also encouraged blacks to "demand our government take appropriate and targeted action to combat the epidemic in communities of color.?

Posted by ronn at May 15, 2003 11:20 AM