Did you know that February 7th is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day? It’s a day when we come together to learn, support, and fight against the spread of HIV and AIDS in Black communities. This year’s theme is “Engage, Educate, Empower: Uniting to End HIV/AIDS in Black Communities.” Let’s dive into what this day is all about and why it’s so important.
What is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day?
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, or NBHAAD for short, is an observance day dedicated to spreading awareness about HIV and AIDS among Black/African American people. It’s a day to remind everyone that there are support services available for those living with HIV. It’s also a day to break down the walls of stigma surrounding HIV, to encourage people who might be at risk to get tested, and to show those living with HIV that a long, full life is possible with antiretroviral treatment.
Why is it Important?
HIV affects people from all walks of life, but Black/African American people in the United States are more disproportionately impacted. Even though they make up only 13% of the population, they account for a significant 42% of all new HIV diagnoses.
How Can We Help?
The good news is that HRSA’s Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) is working hard to make a positive change. They are breaking down barriers and creating supportive communities for Black and African American people living with HIV. Nearly 45% of RWHAP clients are Black/African American, and the program is helping more and more individuals become virally suppressed. Virally suppressed means that the virus is under control and cannot be sexually transmitted to others. This not only helps those with HIV lead healthier lives but also reduces the spread of the virus.
What Can You Do?
Get Informed: Learn more about HIV and AIDS. Understanding the first step is prevention!
Get Tested: If you haven’t been tested for HIV, get tested! Knowing your status is essential for your health and the health of your loved ones. Everyone has an HIV status. Do you know yours?
Support and Educate: Be a friend, family member, or community member who supports those living with HIV. Educate others about the importance of getting tested and seeking treatment.
Spread Awareness: Share information about HIV/AIDS and NBHAAD with your friends and family. The more people know, the closer we get to squashing the stigma.
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is a vital opportunity for us to stand together and fight against HIV/AIDS in Black communities. By engaging, educating, and empowering one another, we can make a real difference. Free HIV testing is available at Legacy, both in-clinic with a provider, or through the mail in the privacy of your own home. For locations, please visit our website or call us at (832) 548-5000.