YOUNGSTOWN -- The Youngstown Minority HIV/AIDS Coalition and the Associated Neighborhood Centers will focus on the HIV epidemic among black Americans during the second annual observance of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day at 10 a.m. Thursday at the McGuffey Centre, 1649 Jacobs Road.
The local groups join cities nationwide to emphasize a "state of emergency" among black Americans, to bring attention to the disproportionate and increasing rate of HIV/AIDS among blacks, and to encourage HIV testing and provide education and prevention strategies.
AIDS is the No. 1 killer of black Americans ages 25 to 44, the groups say. In Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties, 125 blacks live with HIV or AIDS.
The local coalition seeks to educate the minority community about HIV/AIDS, offer testing information and encourage the community to advocate for resources to fight the disease.
Thursday's event will feature a press conference, free HIV/AIDS testing information and community information forums at 10:15 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.