Brooklyn Commemorates National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.
On Monday, February 8th, the Brooklyn Linkage to Care Coalition (BLCC), the Center for the Study of Brooklyn at Brooklyn College and the Watchful Eye brought together community leaders, HIV/AIDS experts, service providers and consumers to commemorate National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.
Brooklyn is the epicenter of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in New York City and the nation for Blacks, Women, Adolescents and Children living with HIV. In some parts of New York City, HIV/AIDS is a chronic condition- for Black Brooklynites it remains a death sentence. In 2007, Brooklyn had 100 more deaths of people who had been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS than Manhattan and each of the other boroughs. Brooklyn consistently has had the largest number of individuals, who when diagnosed with HIV, are also diagnosed with AIDS- meaning that they are not benefitting from access to the care and treatment which has extended the lives of many others.
See below for links to documents from the conference:
Center for the Study of Brooklyn's HIV/AIDS Initiative
In response to the severe public health implications and staggering financial and social costs of the exceptionally high rates of HIV/AIDS in many communities of color and lower income neighborhoods in the borough, the Center for the Study of Brooklyn has included HIV/AIDS as part of its agenda. The Centers for Disease Control identifies Brooklyn as having the highest total number of adolescents diagnosed with HIV/AIDS nationally, and indicates that from 1999 through 2004, 81.3% of all AIDS cases in the borough were among persons of color. The Center for the Study of Brooklyn is partnering with key city agencies, advocacy groups, health institutions and community-based organizations to conduct research and produce a borough-wide strategic plan that addresses HIV/AIDS prevention and linkage to care. As with the Center's other initiatives, it is supplementing its quantitative research and strategy work with individual stories of people living with HIV/AIDS and those who care for them through the Center's Brooklyn StoryCorps initiative.
Brooklyn HIV/AIDS Epidemiology Data Sources and Indicators
In fall 2007, the Center began its HIV/AIDS research by conducting an environmental scan of Brooklyn HIV/AIDS epidemiology sources and relevant indicators. Through this scan, the sheer magnitude of the epidemic in the borough, the disproportionate impact on minority and low-income residents, and the impact of recent decreases in funding for prevention and care became abundantly apparent. The HIV/AIDS critical indicators highlighted in the document below, as well as the sources for Brooklyn HIV/AIDS epidemiology data in the epidemiology outline, serve as a resource for basic data regarding the epidemic in the borough. The Center's entire epidemiology outline is available in hard copy by contacting email@example.com or (718) 951-5852.
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Brooklyn Linkage to Care Coalition (BLCC) Conference
In October 2008, the Center for the Study of Brooklyn co-sponsored a conference for Brooklyn community-based HIV/AIDS organizations who provide HIV/AIDS prevention, testing and linkage to care. Participants learned about and shared the latest policy, programmatic and epidemiological trends in Brooklyn, and received updates on the unprecedented Brooklyn Linkage to Care Coalition's HIV/AIDS data collection project, as well as BLCC's innovative Respondent Driven Sampling pilot study (conducted by John Jay College at CUNY). Among the conference speakers were Dr. Monica Sweeney from the Bureau of HIV Prevention and Control at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and Divinah Bailey, representing the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS. Brooklyn College faculty and staff engaged in HIV/AIDS research and prevention work also participated in the conference.
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Brooklyn HIV/AIDS Strategic Plan
The Center for the Study of Brooklyn is facilitating the drafting of a borough-wide HIV/AIDS strategic plan based upon input from the Brooklyn Linkage to Care Coalition (and the October 2008 conference participant feedback), NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Brooklyn HIV Care Network, the Brooklyn Community Foundation and Brooklyn College faculty and staff. As the document evolves, the plan will be vetted more broadly with Brooklyn HIV/AIDS prevention and care constituencies, and key stakeholders and sponsors will be identified to implement goals and relevant action items included in the plan.
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Brooklyn HIV/AIDS Data Analysis and Annual Profiles
The Center for the Study of Brooklyn is partnering with the Brooklyn Linkage to Care Coalition, and Brooklyn College faculty and students to conduct an analysis of the BLCC Brooklyn data collected in 2008 from those organizations with testing contracts in the borough. The Center will also be working with BLCC to produce 2009 Brooklyn and neighborhood profiles of the epidemic.
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