The Centers for Disease Control reports African Americans account for more than a third of the nation's AIDS cases, as a result, this Saturday has been designated National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.
"I didn't sleep around, I'm not a drug user, I'm not a prostitute I thought I was in a monogamous relationship like many people and it happened to me," “Jane Doe” says.
Jane Doe discovered she contracted HIV five months ago during a routine prenatal screening. Doe says her boyfriend of three years infected her with the deadly disease, and now she hopes her unborn daughter is not at risk.
"There is a one to two percent chance I will not transmit it to her, which is very, very low and since I am not detected and I have a high T-cells," says “Jane Doe”.
Doe is sharing her story on the eve of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness and Information Day. The national mobilization effort is designed to encourage African Americans across the United States to get tested, educated and involved.
"We want to encourage persons to come out and tell their stories we also want to hope by someone giving their message about their status that other people will be encouraged to be tested,” says Yolanda Miller of the Leon County Health Department.
Organizers say in 2002 African Americans accounted for 54 percent of estimated new HIV infections in the U.S. Health professionals are hoping testimonies from HIV patients will help save lives.
Leon County health clinics offer confidential screenings at several of locations. You can also be screened at Big Bend Cares and SHISA.