Washington, DC – Congressman Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, issued the following statement recognizing National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2013:
"It is with somberness and hope that I acknowledge the 13th National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness day today, set aside to increase awareness about this preventable disease that continues to disproportionately impact the African American community.
"The Centers for Disease Control reports that African Americans, more than any other racial group, continue to bear the greatest burden of HIV in our nation, accounting for almost half of all new HIV infections in 2010. Of that number, Black men represent almost one-third of all new HIV infections and 70 percent of new HIV infections in the Black community.
"We do not have to continue to lose our loved ones to this horrible disease. And we should not.
"Today, I pause to urge everyone to get tested, know your status, and live responsibly. Knowledge is power and when it comes to HIV/AIDS, what you don't know could cost you your life."
According to a report from the Kaiser Family Foundation, Maryland had the second highest rate of AIDS diagnoses in the country in 2010. That year, Baltimore ranked 5th out the nation's 10 metropolitan areas with the highest AIDS prevalence according to the Centers for Disease Control.