Still Sounding the Alarm on African American AIDS State of Emergency

The Bay Area Regional African American State of Emergency Coalition (BARAASEC), talked to Board of Supervisors. From left to right: Camryn Crump, Pamela Casey-Aziz, Loren Jones; Supervisor Wilma Chan; Gigi Crowder; Gloria Crowell-Cox, Dr. Neena Murgai (Alameda County Office of AIDS Surveillance), Supervisor Kieth Carson, Dr. Muntu Davis (Alameda county’s Health officer), Georgia Schreiber (Alameda County Office of AIDS linkage to care coordinator), Omar Bagani, Charlie Wilson, Jesse Brooks (BARAASEC’s Co-chair).

Camryn Crump

By Camryn Crump

The Bay Area Regional African American State of Emergency Coalition, BARAASEC, along with Dr. Muntu Davis of Oakland, are sounding the alarm concerning disproportionate HIV transmissions in Alameda County.
On Nov. 19, BARAASEC approached the Alameda Board of Supervisors, providing an update on how the coalition is fulfilling its mission to stop the spread of HIV and increase the care for African Americans living with HIV in this county.
BARAASEC is working to improve performance measures in Alameda to see a change in statistics among the African American community concerning health and HIV. The group is determined to change the dynamics of how services are delivered, beginning with the areas of HIV education, testing and linkage to care.
“For me it is all about action and not about talking,” says Jesse Brooks as he stood before the supervisors, explaining the steps BARAASEC has taken in 2012 and its plan for the coming year.
Brooks talked about why HIV/AIDS is substantially higher in African-American communities than white and Hispanic communities and the factors related to how HIV is really affecting the African American community.
Bringing together community groups, residents, and the county together will help improve all HIV/AIDS programs and help a policy platform that will promote change needed to impact the epidemic.  Engaging all parts of the community, such as the church, educational system and department of social services, also will help create a plan to impact the targeted population
The Board of Supervisors continues to support the push to create awareness and draw resources in relation to the state of emergency of African Americans in Alameda County.