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Charlotte Amalie
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Christensen, Black Caucus Members Get Tested for HIV/AIDS

Sept. 28, 2006 — Delegate Donna M. Christensen joined 15 members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) in taking an HIV/AIDS test as a means of encouraging all African-Americans to "know their status," according to a release issued Thursday.
Chair of the CBC's Health Braintrust, Christensen has worked to ensure that funding for prevention and treatment of the disease reach all communities of color, including the U.S. Virgin Islands.
According to the release, the CBC has taken a leading role in calling attention to the severity of the epidemic in the African-American community.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently published new recommendations for health care providers to expand and increase voluntary HIV screening as a routine part of medical care for all patients 13 to 64 years of age.
Since coming to Congress in 1997, Christensen — a family physician by profession, who treated many patients with HIV/AIDS at the beginning of the epidemic in the Virgin Islands — has played a leadership role in addressing the needs of those suffering from this disease in the United States, the Caribbean and the territory.
According to the release, the Virgin Islands has one of the 10 highest AIDS case rates in the United States, despite its small size and population. Nearly two of every three reported AIDS cases in the U.S. Virgin Islands are among blacks, and one in four is among Hispanics.
There are an estimated 1.3 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States. Despite representing only 13 percent of the U.S. population, African-Americans account for 40 percent of all AIDS deaths.
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