A Day to Raise Awareness and Stop the HIV/AIDS Stigma

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD) is a day to raise awareness, mobilize, prevent, and get tested. In 1999, NBHAAD began as a grassroots education effort to end HIV/AIDS in African American communities.  In the United States, there has been overall progress in reducing HIV transmission. However, HIV infections continue to affect African Americans more than other ethnicities and races.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), it estimates that African Americans accounted for 13% of the U.S. population but 40% of people with HIV in 2019. The CDC reported February 3, 2022, 52% of African American adults diagnosed with HIV reside in communities that lack resources, discrimination, transportation, and trust in the health care system to get the proper treatment and care.

The CDC is pursuing a high-impact HIV/AIDS prevention approach to maximize the effectiveness of HIV prevention interventions and strategies for African American communities. Funding state, territorial, and local health departments and community-based organizations to develop and implement tailored programs is CDC’s largest investment in HIV prevention.

It’s crucial to promote, break the silence, and support people living with HIV/AIDS and education.

NBHAAD has four key focus areas that encourage people to do:

Get Tested:  It is vital for anyone at high risk of contracting HIV to get tested every three months. Know your status.

Get Educated: An essential component to educating African American community on preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Get Treated: After a diagnosis of HIV/AIDS, it is important to start treatment as soon as possible to slow progression and keep you healthy for many years. If treatment is delayed, the virus will continue to harm your immune system and be life-threatening.

Get Involved: Support and volunteer with service organizations to help and encourage people to get tested for HIV/AIDS.

For information and resources, go to www.hiv.gov  and www.cdc.gov.

Tammy Gibson is a writer, black history traveler, and author. Find her on social media @SankofaTravelHr and @sankofatrave

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