WASHINGTON — Today, Feb. 7, marks National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD). In commemoration, Dr. David J. Johns, CEO of the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), a leading Black LGBTQ+/same-gender loving (LGBTQ+/SGL) civil rights organization, issued the following statement:
"National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day continues to serve as an opportunity for Black people, and those who co-conspire for our full freedom, to shine a spotlight on the disproportionate impact the HIV/AIDS crisis continues to have on the Black community.
"Through increased awareness, education, and connections to care, we can end HIV transmission, increase support for people living with HIV, and reduce stigma. And by eliminating stigmas around holistic health and wellness, we can ensure that people living with HIV/AIDS thrive.
"Awareness must extend beyond acknowledgment and include meaningful action in the form of more HIV testing and screenings, more high quality and culturally competent services, and intentional policy change designed to disrupt the systemic practices that result in Black people continuing to die from HIV/AIDS when this does not have to be our reality. Only together can we improve lived experiences and life outcomes for all Black people."
NBJC's NBHAAD toolkit includes information about testing, treatment, and tips for reducing the stigma facing Black people regarding HIV/AIDS. The toolkit provides guidance on ways to start conversations about HIV/AIDS, including the use of social media, hosting events, or writing an article or an OpEd. It also includes shareable facts about how HIV/AIDS affects Black communities and medications that help curb its effects and transmission. It encourages readers to prioritize their holistic health, including sexual health.
NBJC is a proud partner of the Centers for Disease Control's Stop HIV Together campaign and urges community members to take advantage of FREE, limited-time-only, mailed-to-you HIV self-tests offered HERE. Several local health departments are also offering free HIV testing to commemorate NBHAAD.
Supporters can use NBJC's Action Hub to urge members of Congress to renew global funding to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is America's leading civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer+, and same-gender loving (LGBTQ+/SGL) people, including people living with HIV.