National Black HIV and AIDS Awareness Day: Stay the course, the fight is not over

Post submitted by Ashland Johnson, HRC Foundation’s Director of Public Education and Research, and Devin Barrington Ward, President of Impulse Group DC.

“Stay the course, the fight is not over.” This year’s theme for National Black HIV and AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD), today, inspires us to reflect about the ways that HIV and AIDS have impacted Black communities. Over the years, we’ve made progress on many fronts. But make no mistake: we must continue to do more.

While a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report shows that education, prevention, and treatment efforts have helped to stem the rate of new HIV diagnoses among Black Americans overall, many subgroups in our communities are still disproportionately impacted by HIV. This is especially true for young men who have sex with men (MSM), who account for more new diagnoses than any other group. Black straight women continue to be affected by HIV more than women of any other race or ethnicity. Moreover, members of Black transgender communities also remain especially vulnerable.

This fight is far from over and organizations like HRC and Impulse Group DC are committed to supporting new strategies to help win it. These efforts must center Black bodies, recognize and protect our humanity, respect our authority and autonomy, and target the impact of stigma.

This includes:

  • Investing in Black-lead initiatives and advocacy within this movement
  • Creating positive spaces for organic and constructive conversations about HIV prevention and treatment; and
  • Amplifying Black voices and leadership in LGBTQ and HIV spaces

This NBHAAD, join us as we look back on where we have been and look forward to where we, as a movement, need to go. Let’s reflect. Let’s act. Stay the course, the fight is not over.

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