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January 23, 2009

African-American MSM Conference Begins in Atlanta

The National African-American MSM Leadership Conference on HIV/AIDS is being held January 22 to 25 in Atlanta, the Southern Voice reports. Hosted by the National AIDS Education and Services for Minorities, the fifth annual conference will focus on how to slow HIV rates among black men who have sex with men (MSM).

“This conference is really about empowering people with the tools they need to take back to their communities and help reduce the spread of HIV,” said conference publicity chairperson Terrence McPhaul.

Speakers include Kevin Fenton, MD, director of the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, & TB Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); David Malebranche, MD, MPH, assistant professor at Emory University’s School of Medicine in Atlanta; and Christopher Bates, acting director of the Office of HIV/AIDS Policy at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

According to the article, the CDC in 2005 found that almost half of the black gay and bisexual men they surveyed were HIV positive. About two thirds of the HIV-positive black gay and bisexual men they surveyed were previously unaware of their status.

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