Skip to main content Skip to search

YU News

YU News

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

By Kimberly Moore
Director, Care Café

Care Café partnered with the faith-based coalition of the National Black Leadership Commission on Health to recognize National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on Feb. 9, 2022.


We were honored to have three dynamic guest speakers for this occasion. Dr. Alvin Ponder, Dr. Candice Fraser, and Mr. Escott Solomon participated in a robust dialogue. They all offered a wide range of information about strategies which support improved community health outcomes.


Dr. Alvin Ponder, physician, professor, and social activist, serves as a member of the statewide End AIDS NY Community Coalition and serves on its legislative sub-committee. For more than 15 years, Dr. Ponder’s work has included the teaching and development of curricula in anatomy and physiology for nursing students at various academic institutions around HIV/AIDS.

Furthermore, Dr. Ponder is a member of Bronx Community Board 10 where he serves on the Health and Human Services and Youth Services and Education Committees. He is committed to engaging in efforts that support the reduction of HIV/AIDS in communities of color.

The theme of Dr. Ponder’s presentation was “Understanding the HIV Blueprint.” Dr. Ponder made an important distinction for the group by clarifying two frequently used terms when discussion disease: “Incidence” and “Prevalence.” Dr. Ponder explained that “incidence” refers to the number of new cases developed over a period of time (rate), and “prevalence” refers to how many cases there are all together at any one time (proportion of cases at a given time). These terms are frequently used but can be confused.

Furthermore, Dr. Ponder outlined the three-point plan to end the AIDS epidemic as announced by New York State in 2014, which included the following: (1) Proactively identifying persons with HIV who remain underdiagnosed because of the lack of access to health care system; (2) connect those with HIV to the health care system for treatment, and (3) promote prevention by increasing access to medications for those who are HIV negative such as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) or post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP).

Our next speaker, Dr. Candice Fraser, is the director of gynecology at Juno Medical in Harlem, New York. She serves as section chair of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists for the New York District and a member of the Legislative Committee and Menopause Task Forces. Dr. Fraser is passionate about empowering women of all ages and seeks to support positive change in the lives of all her patients.

Dr. Fraser noted, “Women are an underserved population on their own.”  She pointed out essential information about medical issues which predominately impact women, including but not limited to cervical cancer, osteoporosis, menopause and heart disease. She also discussed the benefits of lifestyle changes including incorporating exercise, weight loss, management of blood pressure and lowering cholesterol.

Dr. Fraser continued to encourage the audience to engage in regular preventive tests such as routine pap smears, HPV tests and full evaluation of dietary choices to support improved bone health.

Finally, Mr. Escott Solomon is a test and trace consultant for the National Black Leadership Commission on Health. As a certified tester and examiner, Mr. Solomon is committing to providing direct peer support and education to communities around the urgency of prioritizing HIV and Hepatitis C Testing. He is a true proponent of implementing strategies that support improved quality of life for all people.

Mr. Solomon discussed the evolution of science as it relates to HIV testing. He noted, “Previously, you had to have blood drawn, wait one week, go back to the hospital to hear the results.  Now, you can get a test and know your results in 20 minutes.”

Furthermore, Mr. Solomon provided strategies and suggestions for independently managing one’s health, including engaging in routine preventive testing, asking your medical provider for clarification when there is a lack of understanding and being proactive in your own health.

Once again, Care Café remains excited about the many ways our partnerships support bringing important information to our communities.

Special thanks to Care Café Interns, Olivia B., Tina T., and Allysha B., for their support and contributions to this event.

For information on connecting to Dr. Fraser and her team at Juno Medical in Harlem, feel free to book appointments at www.junocare/book

Please feel free to reach out to the Care Café team for more information about our programming, and to join us at an upcoming event: or 646 592 6827. We would love to hear from you.

To All, Be Well!