In August 2002, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. partnered with the 28th Community Development Corporation to focus on men’s health issues by providing a free health fair – Hamilton County Minority Health Fair. The primary focus was geared toward prostate exams, blood pressure and other educational services for men. In 2004, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. joined this partnership to focus on women’s and children’s health as well.
Last year over 3,000 people attended, 125 vendors were present providing various screening/educational services. Chattanooga CARES provided 50 HIV tests and The Tennessee Department of Health Ryan White Minority AIDS Initiative Program distributed HIV educational materials to over 400 people.
Helen Adams, Minority AIDS Initiative coordinator at the Tennessee Department of Health says, “African Americans comprise the burden of HIV, both nationally and in the State of Tennessee. There are many social factors that contribute to HIV among African Americans—poverty, not knowing one’s status, stigma, fear, homophobia, and even compliancy, but there is hope.”
Chattanooga CARES has been a supporter of the Minority Health Fair since its inception. African Americans represent approximately 20% of the population, yet make up 44% of new HIV cases and 48% of people living with HIV/AIDS in Hamilton County as of 2013.
William Adams, Prevention/Education director, and his team will be providing Rapid HIV and Hepatitis C testing for those who are at risk in the community. There is no charge for any test and participants will receive their results in 20 minutes. Along with testing, CARES will provide the community with tools and information necessary for prevention.
Everyone is invited to attend on Saturday, Aug. 16, from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Eastgate Town Center, 5600 Brainerd Road. Pre-register by calling 423-778-5465 (LINK).