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Continuing their mutual commitment to the lives of Black women, on September 21, 2011, the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), the National Action Network (NAN), I Choose Life Health and Wellness Center (ICL), and members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) will present The Women’s Health Summit:

“Harnessing Our Power: “Mind, Body, and Soul” with a special focus on “HIV/AIDS and African American Women: The Forgotten Population” during the Annual Legislative Caucus (ALC) in Washington, DC. WHUR 96.3 FM-Washington is the official media sponsor.

The Women’s Health Summit will assemble a cohort of experts to discuss the myriad of health concerns and disparities that impact Black women, while also providing insight, valuable information and actions for healthy living.

“There are a plethora of diseases and health issues that continue to disproportionately affect Black women when compared to our counterparts,” says Avis Jones-DeWeever, PhD, author, policy analyst, and Executive Director, NCNW. “As organizations that are invested in the lives of Black women, we wanted to band together to encourage a holistic dialogue that’s solution-based and helps Black women to lead mentally, physically, and emotionally healthy lives.”

Not only are African American women more at risk for heart disease, cancer, stroke, high blood pressure, and diabetes, Black women also have the highest rates of obesity, are mostly likely to die during childbirth and mostly likely to suffer the tragedy of infant mortality. Regarding other areas of concern, African American women are less likely to receive accurate mental health diagnoses than their Caucasian counterparts. Additionally, African-American women experience domestic violence at a rate that’s 35% higher than Caucasian women and thus account for a disproportionate number of intimate partner homicides.

AIDS still remains a devastating killer of Black women, yet they continue to be relegated to footnotes in national dialogues. The rates of new HIV infections for Black women is nearly 15 times as high as that of Caucasian women and AIDS diagnosis for African American women is at a rate of 20 times higher.  HIV/AIDS-related conditions are now the leading cause of death for African American women aged 25-34 years.

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