The Black Aids Institute is reaching across America with an innovative way to help African-Americans 40 and up become more aware of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The campaign, supported by local organizations such as 7NO! PLAYERS, Sisters Love and AIDS of Atlanta and Southwestern AIDS Planning Coalition, Pa., is called TRUMP AIDS.
It combines the traditional Black pastime of bid whist, a popular card game among Black Americans, as a unique way to educate this often overlooked HIV/AIDS demographic.
TRUMP AIDS was launched in Atlanta, on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, Jan. 15-17. The event is the first of 30 tournaments and health fairs being held across the nation between January and October.
On June 19, the TRUMP AIDS, campaign reached Pittsburgh at the August Wilson Center located at 980 Liberty Ave., Downtown. Many Pittsburghers entered the tournament in support of HIV/AIDS awareness and were tested by the Southwestern AIDS planing Coalition of PA for free, in their mobile van outside of the AWC on liberty Avenue.
Phill Wilson, CEO and founder of the Black AIDS Institute, welcomed players from all over the greater Pittsburgh area. “There’s no way to end the AIDS epidemic in Black communities without targeting this population, said Wilson. “The Black AIDS Institute has spent the last decade meeting Black folks where they are.”
The Black AIDS Institute is using TRUMP AIDS, as an effective way of identifying an indigenous pastime in the community to deliver culturally effective messages. “AIDS does not only affect a select demographic such as youth, women or gay men,” said actor and AIDS activist, Danny Glover, a celebrity co-chair of TRUMP AIDS.” It affects all groups of people.” Jackee Harry, the other celebrity co-chair, added, “We must unite as a community for the sake of our communities. To do nothing is to be part of the problem.”
Tournament winners will have the opportunity to compete in a national bid whist competition and health fair in Las Vegas, Nev.
For a complete list of cities hosting the events and to register, visit www. TRUMP AIDS.ORG.
Pittsburgh had 40 players, the most they’ve had in any of the earlier tournaments which included Atlanta, Detroit, New York City and Los Angeles, Jerry Lopes said. “Kudos to Tom for getting the players out.”
Founded in May 1999, The Black AIDS Institute is the only National HIV/AIDS think tank focused exclusively on Black people. For more information, visit www. BlackAIDS.ORG.