WEST PALM BEACH — June 8 is National Caribbean American HIV/AIDS Awareness Day a national HIV/AIDS testing and treatment day designed to encourage Caribbean Americans across the United States and Territorial Areas to get educated, get tested and get involved, as HIV/AIDS continues to devastate communities around the world.

A total of 14,377 Caribbean-born persons (ages 13-plus) were living with a diagnosis of HIV in Florida through 2011. 

More than three-fourths (76 percent, N = 10,948) of Caribbean-born adults living with HIV disease were reported from South Florida, of which 44 percent were reported from Miami-Dade County, 18 percent from Broward County and 12 percent from Palm Beach County.

The majority (62 percent) of Caribbean-born persons living with HIV are black, 37 percent are Hispanic and fewer than 2 percent are white or of another racial/ethnic group. 

Many of those who are infected with HIV are unaware of their status and may unknowingly transmit the virus to others.

On June 8th, Caribbean Americans are encouraged to get involved, get educated, and get tested.

For more information on how to participate in related events, contact Metris Batts, Minority AIDS Coordinator, Palm Beach County Health Department, 561-804-7945, or email: Metris_Batts@doh.state.fl.us

For the nearest confidential testing location, log on to HIVTest.org or call toll-free 1-800-FLA-AIDS (352-2437).