By Brent Dorian Carpenter
DETROIT – Men Of Color Motivational Group, Inc., the Detroit-based HIV/AIDS outreach organization is hosting a movie night at the Phoenix Theater to promote its HIV counseling and testing services. The event takes place Wednesday, Nov. 5, at 8:00 pm. in the Bel-Air Shopping Center on 8 Mile Road near Van Dyke. The feature film for the evening is the opening premiere of Matrix Revolutions, the final installment of the popular sci-fi trilogy.
HIV testing and returning for results is required for the free movie ticket, popcorn and soft drink. Door prizes will also be available. MOC, in conjunction with several community-based organizations, including the Detroit Health Department, Community Health Awareness Group (C-HAG), and AIDS Consortium are sponsoring the initiative. The goal is to test 250 men of color.
In a press briefing, Gregg McAllister, MOC executive director, stated, “The effect of HIV upon communities of color continues to be a battle within the African American and Hispanic communities. As men – fathers, brothers and sons – we must hold an active role in the elimination and reduction in the acquisition and transmission of the disease.”
HIV/AIDS disproportionately impacts African Americans and Hispanics. According to 2003 statistics compiled by the Michigan Department of Community Health, blacks make up 14 percent of the state’s population, but represent 57 percent of the HIV cases. In comparison, while whites make up 79 percent of Michigan’s population, they comprise only 39 percent of the HIV cases. For females, African American women comprise 73 percent of all female cases. Moreover, the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention estimates that as many as 70 percent of HIV-positive African American men nationwide are unaware of their status.
John Trimble, a coordinator of MOC’s Helping Others Use Safe Sex Education (H.O.U.S.S.E.) Prevention program, says thus far, 38 men have been tested under the current initiative. He believes the enormous popularity of the Matrix series will help the organization achieve its goal.
“It was a movie we knew people would be extremely interested in and we knew it would be fun,” he said. “It was a great incentive. We look forward to doing more of these venues in the future.”
For more information on times and locations, contact John Trimble at (313) 543-7000 ext. 224, or toll free 866-474-3341. Visit http://www.menofcolor.net for the latest health news and upcoming MOC events.