Alpha Phi Alp
Alpha Phi Alpha encourages everyone get tested for HIV
Fraternity promotes National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
02.06.2009 – Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the oldest African-American Greek-
lettered organization of collegiate men, is fighting to increase awareness about the
AIDS epidemic that has claimed millions of African-American lives.
Alpha joins the coalition of organizations participating in National Black HIV/AIDS
Awareness Day (NBHAAD); a national mobilization effort designed to encourage
African Americans to get educated, get tested, get treated, and get involved with the
fight against HIV/AIDS, as it continues to devastate Black communities.
Fraternity president Herman “Skip” Mason, Jr. says Alpha Phi Alpha is not only
encouraging every fraternity member to get tested, but every member of the
“Our work is to make sure that we die on time, not before time,” said Mason, the
newly installed general (national) president of Alpha.
Mason has made African-American male health and education of black boys from
the “high chair to higher education” the centerpieces of his four year term which
began January 1.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC) AIDS is a major
health crisis in the black community. Although African Americans account for only 13
percent of the U.S. population, blacks represent 49% of new HIV/AIDS cases
reported each year. African Americans infected with HIV/AIDS also face other
disadvantages; shorter survival times and more HIV/AIDS related deaths than other
Dr. Michael A. Smith, an Alpha and physician who practices medicine, concurs that
HIV/AIDS poses a health emergency for African Americans. In addition to the grim
CDC statistics, Smith says that many African Americans with AIDS live shorter lives
because they lack access to proper medical care.
“In order to curtail the spread of HIV infections, we must make HIV testing and
education a priority in our communities,