BET Star Erica Hubbard & The Urban Wellness Project Celebrate Women's HIV/AIDS Awareness

erica hubbard(BlackDoctor.org) — On March 10, 2011, in honor of National Women & Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, Erica Hubbard (Chicago native and star of the new BET show Let’s Stay Together), The Erica Hubbard Foundation and Chicago’s Urban Wellness Project will host two events to educate and empower women and girls about the importance of HIV/AIDS Awareness.

“I am extremely excited to be co-hosting these influential events,” says Hubbard. “Both personally, and on behalf of The Erica Hubbard Foundation, we will undoubtedly touch the lives of many women, and this is a crucial time for our community to seriously address one of the most exigent and relevant health concerns that is plaguing this generation and potentially future generations.

Today’s HIV/AIDS Reality…

• According to the CDC, as of September 2010, there were 32,923 (15,163 HIV; 17,760 AIDS) people reported as living with HIV/AIDS in Illinois. The number of cases in Illinois is the eighth highest in the U.S

• Of the 24 percent of reported new HIV/AIDS cases, high-risk heterosexual activity accounted for 65 percent of all infections among women for whom a risk factor was reported.

• Even more frightening is the fact that a quarter of the HIV infections in 2007 were among females ages 13 and up. And the numbers of new infections among women and teenagers continues to grow…

“The Urban Wellness Project is taking the initiative to heal urban communities one event at a time,” states Syreeta Talbert, director and founder of the Urban Wellness Project. “For some changing health behaviors may be difficult to achieve due to limited knowledge and access to preventative health care services. Through our events, our goal to inform women and girls about HIV/AIDS so they can take advantage of the services provided to them in our community.”

The Events

The first event, “Educating Young Girls About HIV,” will be held at Alain Locke Charter School located at 3141 W. Jackson. This event will include guest speakers Dr. Mildred Williamson, HIV/AIDS section chief for the Illinois Department of Public Health and Erica Hubbard, actress (BET – Let’s Stay Together) to speak to the young girls about the importance of HIV/AIDS prevention. To close out the program Melody Angel and Shayna Love will give a special inspirational music performance. This event is scheduled to take place from 3pm to 4pm.

The Urban Wellness Project will have its second event “S.I.S. Safe is Sexy and Sexy is Safe,” at Salon Heaven located at 1505 S. Michigan also hosted by actress, Erica Hubbard and featuring Dr. Mildred Williamson. The purpose of this event is to educate and engage all women about the importance of HIV/AIDS awareness and testing. In addition to free on-site rapid testing and information services, the night will also include performances by singer Melody Angel, as well as poets, Mama Brenda and London A’Lexus. In addition, complimentary beauty services will be offered and photos available at the Glam Photo Booth.  The event is from 5pm to 10pm.

The Illinois Department of Public Health is one of the proud sponsors of the events.

“We must educate people, especially our youth, about how HIV/AIDS is transmitted and ways to avoid becoming infected,” said Dr. Mildred Williamson, HIV/AIDS section chief for the Illinois Department of Public Health. “Know your status, get tested and get your friends tested.  The only way to know if you have HIV is to get tested.”

Additional HIV/AIDS Resources

For more information on HIV/AIDS, visit BDO’s HIV/AIDS Channel, log on to www.idph.state.il.us/aids/default.htm or call HIV/AIDS-STD hotline at 1-800-243-2437.

About The Urban Wellness Project: The Urban Wellness Project a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organizations dedicated to improving and promoting the overall wellness of African Americans through education and empowering them to take an active, in-charge role of their health. Each innovative program and event offered is designed to provide African American’s opportunities to maintain and improve their physical, mental and social well-being.  www.theurbanwellnessproject.org.

About National Women & Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day: March 10th is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. It is a day to recognize the special risks HIV/AIDS poses for women and girls, and to raise awareness of the disease’s increasing impact on them. We encourage women and girls to know their HIV status and get tested for HIV. www.womenshealth.gov.

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