Post submitted by HRC HIV & Health Equity Program Coordinator Dimetri O'Brien
National Black HIV & AIDS Awareness Day is observed each year on February 7 to increase HIV education, testing, community involvement and treatment among Black communities. With members of the Black and African American community making up 44.1% of total reported deaths from HIV, and those in the Latinx community making up 16.3% of total deaths in 2017, according to the CDC, work in these communities is an urgent priority. This year’s theme for NBHAAD, which is coordinated by the Strategic Leadership Council, is “We’re in This, Together,” focusing on increasing HIV education among Black communities.
To mark this year’s awareness day, the HRC Foundation’s HIV & Health Equity Program is highlighting a community organization providing meaningful and vital services for those living with HIV in Virginia.
The Fredericksburg AIDS Support Team (FAST) began as a support group in 1989, providing services for those living with HIV in the Fredericksburg and Culpeper, Virginia, areas. In 1992, with a robust group of volunteers-turned-board members, FAST organized under the name Fredericksburg Area HIV/AIDS Support Services, and since then has been the leading service provider for those living with HIV in the Fredericksburg area, and in Caroline, Culpeper, Fauquier, King George, Madison, Orange, Prince William, Rappahannock, Spotsylvania, Stafford and Westmoreland counties.
FAHASS offers medical case management, mental health services, housing assistance and more. Its initiatives educate people about the transmission of HIV and other sexually-transmitted infections, as well as emphasizing the need for testing to reduce stigma among those they serve and beyond. FAHASS also provides the most-up-to-date information about HIV and resources related to health and wellness.
On this National Black HIV & AIDS Awareness Day, HRC is proud to stand “Together For Love” with FAHASS as it continues to be a shining beacon of service while reducing stigma and ending the epidemic one day at a time.
HRC is committed to working with our allies, partners, members and supporters to end the HIV & AIDS epidemic and the stigma surrounding HIV & AIDS. Learn more about HRC Foundation’s work here.