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February 7, 2018

Contact: Casey Olesko 201.647.5502 / [email protected]

Increased family planning funding is key to addressing HIV/AIDS in New Jersey’s African American communities

Statement from Planned Parenthood in New Jersey on National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

TRENTON, NJ — Today is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), African Americans are the race/ethnicity demographic most affected, facing the most severe burden of HIV and AIDS in the nation. Roslyn Y. Rogers Collins, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan New Jersey and a board member for PPAFNJ, released the following statement:

“HIV/AIDS disproportionately impacts African Americans; health care disparities are directly related to that outcome. It’s not enough to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS. We have to remove barriers to accessing affordable, quality health care — especially in communities of color.

Half of the people living with HIV or AIDS in New Jersey are African American, and four out of five women living with HIV or AIDS in New Jersey are women of color. These communities already face heightened barriers to the care they need. Nearly a decade of cuts to family planning services in the state has compounded the problem, making it harder for New Jerseyans — especially people of color — to access health care.

“Next week, the New Jersey Assembly will vote on a family planning funding restoration bill that will reinstate $7.45 million in reproductive health care funding cuts. This follows the Senate’s bipartisan vote to pass this legislation last week. If passed, Governor Phil Murphy has promised to sign this bill into law. 

“This is only the first step to confronting the impact of HIV and AIDS in African American communities. We urge our lawmakers to not only pass this legislation, but to continue to protect and expand access for these much needed health care services.”