Note: This is the fifth installment of WCBS 880’s Black History Month series.

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)—HIV need not be a death sentence. That’s one message of National African American HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, coming up on Feb. 7.

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However, the virus that causes AIDS and AIDS itself are still very much with us.

“There’s a sense of ‘it’s no longer a problem or if infected, all they have to do is take a pill,’” President of the National Black Leadership Commission On AIDS Virginia C. Fields told WCBS 880’s Jane Tillman Irving.

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Fields said this kind of dangerous complacency, fueled by stigma and discrimination, make many black people reluctant to get test.

That accounts for large numbers of heterosexual women who test positive, the virus often transmitted by men who have sex with men.

“Get tested. Get treatment. Stay in treatment. And become aware of new prevention methods,” Fields said.

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One of those methods is a drug known as Truvada. And Fields added that practicing safe sex is key to lowering the risk of contracting the virus.