A series of special reports -- dubbed the "Color of AIDS" -- will air next week on NBC 5 Chicago in an effort to highlight the disproportionate number of African-Americans and Latinos affected by the disease.
The campaign kicks off on Sunday February 7, 2010, National Black HIV Awareness Day, and will feature a series of special reports that will air every day at 5 a.m. and 5 p.m. The week will culminate with a fundraiser for for local agencies that assist HIV/AIDS victims.
"We are excited about this opportunity to shed light on an issue that is often overlooked but affects such a large number of people in our community" said Chris Peña, NBC Chicago's Assistant News Director.
A 2007 Centers for Disease Control report shows African-Americans and Latino communities are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS.
Blacks accounted for 49 percent of all reported diagnosis nationwide, and Latino's accounted for 19 percent.
Women of color are especially affected. The same report shows the rate of AIDS diagnoses for black women was 22 times the rate for white women. The rate for Hispanic/Latino women was five times that of their white counterparts.
"This is something many people don’t talk about. HIV/AIDS does not get the attention it used to and it certainly isn’t covered in communities of color. It’s not a subject that is easily accepted at home, church or school but conversations about education and prevention need to be happening" said NBC Chicago news anchor Zoraida Sambolin. "We want to be a catalyst in helping people start those important discussions."
The series culiminates with a fundraiser -- The Color of AIDS Party -- benefiting the AIDS Foundation of Chicago and its affiliate organizations.