Feb. 7 is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, a day for people to come together to raise awareness about the prevalence of HIV and AIDS within African American communities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, African Americans account for a larger portion of HIV/AIDS diagnoses than any other racial or ethnic group in the United States. HIV/AIDS infection rates are also disproportionately higher among African Americans in the LGBTQ community. African American men and women make up 14 percent of the U.S. population but comprise 44 percent of all new HIV diagnoses. The CDC statistics also show that the infection rate among Blacks is eight times higher than that of Whites.
It’s important to understand that this day is not just about raising awareness, but also about taking action. This includes getting tested, practicing safe sex, and seeking out treatment. The LGBTQ community is disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS, but it is also impacting the heterosexual community as well. It is essential that everyone has access to health care and the resources they need to stay healthy and safe.
It’s critical to acknowledge the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS in the African American community. Many people are reluctant to get tested and treated for fear of not being accepted. As a community, it’s our responsibility to create an open and nonjudgmental environment so that everyone feels safe and comfortable seeking out the health services they need.
By coming together on National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, we can help bring attention to this public health issue and create a society where everyone has access to the care, treatment and support they need. Let’s all do our part to save lives and create a healthier future.