In conjunction with National HIV Testing Day, the city will operate a free AIDS testing center Wednesday, June 27, at the Five Points MARTA station.
Mobile testing units on the street level will be set up around the station in an effort to educate the public and make available HIV tests to people who think they might have been exposed to the illness.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 200,000 Americans are living with HIV and don't know it, and the city's testing initiative comes on the heels of an announcement by the CDC earlier this month that blacks account for 50 percent of new AIDS cases and 57 percent of new HIV diagnoses, while making up just 12 percent of the U.S. population.
Meanwhile, a whopping 30 percent of black American men ages 23 to 29 were HIV positive, according to the CDC's most recent data, more than four times the rate for white men of the same age.
Mayor Bill Campbell recently called the spike in HIV infection in the black community possibly the most important issue in our lifetime, one that "we can march on."??