National Black HIV and AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD): Work and Organizers to Follow in 2022

About NBHAAD

The first NBHAAD was in 1999 and began as a grassroots-education effort to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS prevention, care, and treatment in communities of color. Annual observances of NBHAAD continue to raise awareness and provide opportunities to combat stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS. NBHAAD allows us to continue to provide relevant resources to Black communities and the general public including:

  • Education
  • Harm Reduction Practices
  • Treatment Options
  • Community Engagement

HIV Within Black Communities

While Black community leaders, activists and organizers have worked alongside our allies to reduce HIV and AIDS in our communities and mitigate the seroconversions (new HIV diagnoses), Black Americans still remain disproportionately impacted by HIV.

HIV in the South

If we were to focus on the biggest issues facing the Southern United States, we would find that HIV is most heavily concentrated in the Deep South compared to other regions. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 51% of all new HIV diagnoses (at any stage of the disease) occurred in the Deep South, with 8 in 10 states having the highest rates of new HIV diagnosis in the region.

  • If current rates continue: 1 in 2 Black gay men who have sex with men will contract HIV in their lifetimes.
  • 4 in 10 transgender respondents were living with HIV, with rates even higher among Black transgender women, with 61.9% of respondents being HIV-positive.
  • Contributing factors for high rates in transgender women are due in part to social and economic factors — including systemic racism and transphobia.
  • Over half (51%) of people in the U.S. living with HIV are aged 50 and older, and although new diagnoses are declining among this demographic, 1 in 6 HIV diagnoses were among this group. However, people over the age of 50 who have HIV are living longer, healthier lives thanks to effective HIV treatment.
  • Several states have laws to criminalize people living with HIV:
  • 30 states have HIV-specific criminal laws and/or sentence enhancements
  • 25 states have prosecuted people living with HIV under non-HIV-specific general criminal laws
  • 6 states may require registration as a sex offender as part of punishment under HIV-specific laws

Work and Organizers You Should Know

Despite the amount of work that still needs to be done, there are many activists, celebrities, community organizers, service organizations, and people living with HIV who have been advocating, pushing for and succeeding in creating greater HIV and AIDS awareness.

Black HIV Leaders

Due to societal stigma and structural hurdles, residing at the intersection of Black, queer, and living with HIV can be challenging. Where our healthcare, education, and political systems have failed us and turned a blind eye, Black LGBTQ+ folks have stepped in and helped fill the gaps, providing our community with much needed support and resources.

Black People Living with HIV and Leading HIV Awareness Efforts

In spite of the stigma surrounding HIV, structural inequities and the lack of accessible resources offered to Black communities, Black folks living with HIV have consistently shown up for their community. Black folks living with HIV have not only contributed enormously to efforts in HIV treatment and prevention, but have also done the work to fill the gaps which leave black communities more vulnerable to HIV/AIDS. Today, as a LGBTQ+ community and in global kinship, we honor all Black people living with HIV and highlight a few notable faces who are doing this work publicly.

23 Black HIV Service Organizations You Must Know and Support

In addition to individual leaders and advocates who have dedicated themselves to fostering greater HIV/AIDS awareness and access to resources and treatment, there are numerous HIV service organizations working diligently towards the same goal.

Celebrities Speaking Up For The Community

In addition to Black folks, Black-led service organizations, and Black people living with HIV who are driving advocacy and awareness efforts, Black celebrities have also made efforts to speak out on behalf of the community. The celebrities below have spoken up about the importance of ensuring that resources to combat HIV are accessible for Black communities and have worked towards uplifting the voices and experiences of those living with HIV.

2022 GLAAD Media Award Nominees With Ties To HIV/AIDS Awareness

At least a dozen nominees for the 33rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards highlighted HIV awareness, ranging from Emmy winner Billy Porter to George M. Johnson’s memoir-manifesto, All Boys Aren’t Blue.

Moving Forward, Together

As we celebrate our triumphs and progress, we must also remember how far we have come and the community members and friends, brothers and sisters, we have lost along the way. We must continue supporting each other and working to end HIV stigma and ignorance, especially as it impacts Black communities.

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Black Trans-Led Southern TGNC movement based in Selma, Alabama

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TKO Society Editors

TKO Society Editors

Black Trans-Led Southern TGNC movement based in Selma, Alabama