Though World AIDS Day is in December, another national recognition arose in 1999 to show support for Black folks who have to work their lives around HIV/AIDS.
According to HIV.gov, National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD) “ is an opportunity to increase HIV education, testing, community involvement and treatment among Black communities. The first National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD) was marked in 1999 as a grassroots-education effort to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS prevention, care and treatment in communities of color.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes great progress in treatment and prevention possibilities. But for some Black folks, the healthcare system may be daunting and has fostered distrust through other experiences that have affected whether they seek prevention services or treatment.
The Black AIDS Institute (BAI) was also founded the same year, 1999, to work toward an end of HIV/AIDS among Black people.
“After 23 years, we know now what we knew then – you cannot end HIV without addressing racial injustice, investing in Black communities, expediting biomedical information and advancements, and uplifting Black leadership,” the BAI website reads.
Though racial issues persist, the American Psychological Society noted a 12% decrease in HIV/AIDS diagnoses among Black people from 2010 to 2016 in the U.S.
The CDC also notes a few more facts worth your attention:
- At some point in their lifetime, an estimated 1 in 16 African American men and 1 in 32 African American women will be diagnosed with HIV infection.
- An estimated 468,800 Black people had HIV in 2015, representing 42% of all people with HIV.
- Among all African Americans living with HIV in 2015, 85% had received a diagnosis, 60% received HIV medical care, 46% were retained in HIV care, and 46% had a suppressed viral load.
- Regionally, the South accounts for the majority of African Americans newly diagnosed with HIV (63% in 2015) and African Americans living with an HIV diagnosis at the end of 2014 (57%).
Inform yourself on something new today and advocate where you can. Make it a great NBHAAD by remembering those we’ve lost and fighting for those we have.