The Buckhead Cascade City Chapter of the Links, Inc. Supports World AIDS Day
WORLD AIDS DAY is commemorated on December 1st every year beginning in 1988. World AIDS Day is an international day dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection and mourning those who have died of the disease. The Buckhead Cascade City Chapter of The Links is highlighting WORLD AIDS DAY, and Gail Tusan Washington, a member of that organization, joins us to discuss their advocacy to increase awareness about the disease among Black women.
I ask Washington to tell us about Links, Inc. She explains that this is an international organization with over 300 chapters. The organization began in 1946, and the membership comprises professional African-American women from various industries.
HIV/AIDS has been at epidemic numbers in our community for decades. Even in the shutdown brought on by the COVID19 Pandemic, the number of new HIV infections continued to increase. I asked how their organization decided to focus on this health challenge. Washington explains awareness regarding the disease has reached some segments, but there isn’t a persistent focus on messaging to single and senior Black women. They formed a partnership with Gilead Services and have created outreach specifically to the women in our community. Washington mentions that nearly 70% of the people living with HIV are over 50.
Washington explains that their advocacy extends to visiting senior centers to raise awareness with the residents. The number of seniors testing positive for HIV has increased in the last few years. While living with AIDS is possible, seniors tend to have underlying diseases that can complicate treatments.
The Links, Inc. will host a national virtual commemoration with gospel music
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