African Americans are eight times more likely to contract HIV than non-Hispanic whites, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Also according to the CDC, one in 16 black men and one in 30 black women are diagnosed with the disease.
Those statistics compelled the Memphis-based Red Door Foundation to host the "Saving Ourselves Symposium," an educational event aimed at raising awareness of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the African American community.
The symposium begins on Thursday, June 6th and runs through Sunday, June 9th at various locations. It begins with a June 6th screening of You Are Not Alone, a film about HIV/AIDS, at Studio on the Square. Comedian Sampson McCormick will entertain on June 7th at Stop 345. On June 8th, the Red Door Foundation will host its Tri-State African American LGBTQ Community Summit at Bridges. That night, there's a gala and silent auction at the Holiday Inn Select downtown. On June 9th, there's a community service project that participants can help with.
According to its founder, Marvell Terry, The Red Door Foundation is "...fighting to curtail an epidemic that's rapidly moving throughout black America ... It's a state of emergency! Yet, we haven't heard the siren, and here's why ... poverty, lack of education, and limited access to healthcare are the main factors why HIV/AIDS numbers are so prevalent here."