Post submitted by Noël Gordon, former HRC Senior Program Specialist for HIV Prevention and Health Equity.
Today marks National Black HIV & AIDS Awareness Day, an opportunity to focus our attention on the impact of HIV & AIDS on Black and African American communities in the United States.
“I’m hopeful that in my lifetime HIV will be a disease of the past,” Leslie Hall, a Black gay man who manages HRC’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Project, said. “I’m committed to raising awareness about HIV and encouraging young people on colleges and universities across the country -- especially HBCUs -- to take advantage of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and other proven prevention strategies. I know we will prevail.”
Fast Facts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- Of all racial and ethnic groups, Black and African Americans bear the biggest brunt of the HIV & AIDS epidemic.
- If current trends continue uninterrupted, half of today’s young, Black and gay and bisexual men will be living with HIV by the age of 35.
- When compared to other transgender women, Black transgender women have the highest percentage of new HIV-positive test results.
- High Prevalence Rates: The comparatively large percentage of Black and African Americans living with HIV means that, as a group, we have a much greater chance of coming into contact with HIV, whether knowingly or not.
- Socioeconomic Factors: Black and African Americans are more likely to be impoverished, which can mean limited access to quality and affordable healthcare and healthcare insurance, housing instability and high unemployment.
- Stigma and Discrimination: Many Black and African Americans delay getting tested or treated for HIV out of fear of stigma and discrimination.
Ways to Learn More and Get Involved:
- Get tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Seek out treatment as soon as possible in order to stay healthy.
- Take steps to protect yourself and your loves ones from the spread of HIV
- Seek out information from the CDC, Black AIDS Institute, National Black Justice Coalition and other organizations working on this issue.
- Listen to and share the stories of Black and African Americans living with HIV.
HRC is committed to working with our allies, partners, members, and supporters to end the HIV epidemic and the stigma surrounding HIV. Click here to learn more, and join the conversation on social media using the hashtags #BeInTheKnow and #NBHAAD.