On February 5th, 2015 the Denver Colorado AIDS Project (DCAP) released their findings on the increase of HIV/AIDS in Denver’s Black Community. The report comes just two days before the National Observance Day for Black HIV/AIDS Awareness.
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is February 7, 2015.
For more information about National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day click here or visit: www.nationalblackaidsday.org
This will be the 15th year this day has been observed in hopes more of the community will be made aware of this issue and become more involved with helping our Black Community get the education, testing and treatment necessary to help lower the number of people who have or stop HIV/AIDS.
When we compare the other racial/ethnic groups in the US Black make-up 12% of our population. Black Americans account for 44% of newly infected persons and 43% are living with HIV. Shockingly, 48% of the deaths from HIV are from Our Black Communities.
When we look at Our Black Communities in Denver, young Black males between the ages of 15-24 are shown as the fastest growing cases with Gay and Bisexual Men being the majority of the affected population and new cases.
Black Heterosexual Women have also been one of the most highly effected groups in the Denver Communities. The following paragraph is about one of these women who was diagnosed with HIV. DCAP was formed due to people like her in our community.
Penny was on her treatment regimen for nearly a decade before she came to DCAP for assistance, which was in 2007. She had been in Denver Health Medical Center due to some complications for more than a month due to complications of her AIDS. She was home-bound and very sick when she was released from the hospital. One of DCAP’s Case Managers visited her at home and performed her intake paperwork so they could get her some of the services she needed.
Penny was noted as saying; “It meant so much to me that someone would come to my home, to meet me where I am, to help meet my needs.”
Her case manager was able to help her with several of her needs to include; housing, transportation, insurance, nutrition and was able to help her get to a point where she felt empowered enough to be self-sufficient. Her T-Cell count is now over 950 and she only uses the DCAP services for her periodic check-ups with her Case Manager. She also receives assistance with her dental needs through Howard Dental Center which is part of the Colorado Health Network (CHN) which DCAP and Colorado Aids Project (CAP) are included in.
After hearing her story of how she became empowered and was able to become self- sufficient again, she was invited to sit in on Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s HIV Planning Council where she was able to tell her story and helped organize a task force to address the African American Communities disparities.
Penny was asked what her one message would be for the Denver’s Black Community she responded with; “Ignorance is not bliss – what you don’t know will kill you. It’s so vital for people to know their statuses.”
DCAP offers free HIV testing at their office FREE, on a walk-in basis. This testing is available on Thursdays between 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. You can also make an appointment to receive the testing on any day of the week. DCAP is located at: 2490 W. 26th Ave., Suite 300A, Denver, CO 80211. For directions to DCAP click here.
Free testing is also being done at HeyDenver. HeyDenver is a walk in testing center in Denver’s Uptown Neighborhood. They are a co-op center between DCAP and Denver Health. For directions to HeyDenver click here.
About Denver Colorado AIDS Project
Denver Colorado AIDS Project (DCAP) is part of the Colorado Health Network (CHN) – a statewide organization in Colorado serving nearly 4,000 individuals living with HIV/AIDS, and those at risk, in 63 of Colorado’s 64 counties.
For more information about DCAP and its’ services click here or visit: www.denvercap.org
About Colorado Health Network
The mission of Colorado Health Network is to equitably meet the evolving needs of people affected by HIV through prevention, care and advocacy across Colorado.
CHN was formed in 2011 by the merger of Northern Colorado AIDS Project (NCAP) in Ft. Collins and Greeley, Southern Colorado AIDS Project (SCAP) in Colorado Springs and Pueblo, Western Colorado AIDS Project (WCAP) in Grand Junction, and what has now become Denver Colorado AIDS Project (formerly, CAP). The merged organization allows greater efficiencies in practices and a larger front for national funding.
For more information about Denver Colorado AIDS Project (DCAP) Colorado Health Network (CHN) click here and any of the other information in this article click here or visit: www.DenverCAP.org
For more information on HeyDenver click here or visit: www.heydenver.org
For more information about the National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day click here or visit: wwwnationalblackaidsday.org