For more information contact: Boonshoft School of Medicine, Judi Engle, Office of Public Relations, (937) 775-2951

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 26 , 2003

Coalition Rolls Out New Mobile Van
and Free Testing Program

DAYTON, OHIO-A new coalition, the Brothers to Brothers/Sisters to Sisters Coalition, rolled out a new community outreach van at the Drew Health Center, 1323 West Third Street, at 10:00 a.m., on December 1. The new van will conduct free community education and testing, including blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, HIV and PSA-prostate blood tests. The mobile unit will be located at designated places around the community and its services will be entirely free.
Image of van rollout for the Brother to Brother, Sister to Sister Program

Some of the attendees at the event pose for a picture prior to inspecting the van

The coalition selected December 1 as its announcement in remembrance of World AIDS Day and to bring attention to recent statistics that indicate the Dayton/Montgomery County area has the fourth largest population of persons with HIV in Ohio. It is estimated that up to 1,500 persons are living with HIV or AIDS in our community now. Alarmingly, 45 percent of new HIV/AIDS cases in the county involve African Americans, a rate that has been steadily increasing in recent years. One in four new cases involve women, and African American women are at a seven-times higher risk than whites. Unfortunately, public health statistics in the county suggest that one-half or less of individuals with HIV/AIDS are actually counted as HIV positive, because people hide their condition or they don't know how to receive discrete and free testing., the Brothers to Brothers/Sisters to Sisters Coalition was formed to help reduce this runaway infection rate.

Partners in the coalition, with assistance from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in Washington D.C., include the A.I.D.S Outreach/ Prevention Project, Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board, the AIDS Resource Center-Ohio, Center on Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Services (CADAS), Consumer Advocacy Model (CAM), Crisis Care/Samaritan Behavioral Health, Montgomery County Combined Health District, Project C.U.R.E., Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and Wright State School of Medicine's Center for Interventions, Treatment and Addictions Research.

AIDS is the leading cause of death for African Americans age 25-44. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that in Dayton, as in other cities across the nation, 1 in 50 African American males are believed to be infected with HIV, and 1 in 160 African American women are believed to be infected. In comparison, 1 in 250 Caucasian males and 1 in 3000 Caucasian females are believed to be infected. Although African Americans make up 13 percent of the U.S. population, they represent 48 percent of all reported AIDS cases and AIDS mortality rates remain nearly 10 times higher among African Americans than among Caucasians. For African American women in the U.S., age 25-44, HIV/AIDS was the third leading cause of death in 1999. Young African American and Hispanic women account for three-fourths of HIV infections in the 13-24 year-old age group.

For more information about the coalition, World AIDS Day, or the new mobile van unit contact, Dennis Moore, Ed.D., associate professor, and director for Substance Abuse Resources and Disability Issues, Department of Community Health at Wright State University School of Medicine, (937) 775-1484.