hiv_ribbon.jpgBROWARD — Elected officials, community leaders and service providers gathered at the Florida Department of Health in Broward County as Commissioner Dale V.C. Holness commemorated Feb. 7 as National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD). NBHAAD is a HIV/AIDS testing and treatment community mobilization initiative designed to encourage blacks across the United States and territorial areas to get educated, get tested and get involved.

In addition to the proclamation reading, the Black Treatment Advocates Network (BTAN), Black AIDS Advisory Group (BAAG) and Broward Black Elected Officials (BBEO) announced ‘Broward is Greater than AIDS – A Call to Action’ Leadership Luncheon, scheduled for Friday, Feb. 14 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at Mount Hermon AME Church, 404 NW Seventh Terrace, Fort Lauderdale.

Phil Wilson, CEO, Black AIDS Institute, in Los Angeles Calif., will serve as the keynote speaker. The luncheon will be an afternoon of awareness, education and advocacy, organizers said in a statement.

In its 14 year, NBHAAD organizers remain focused on all cities where black communities are disproportionately impacted and the epidemic is not slowing. In Broward County there are 16, 280 people living with HIV/AIDS.

“The theme for NBHAAD this year is ‘I Am My Brother’s and Sister’s Keeper. Fight HIV/AIDS,’ and I couldn’t agree more. There are many people in our community who do not know the services that are available to them and it is our responsibility to spread the word and fight this disease,” said Holness.