National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
February 7, 2014
EDUCATE. TEST. INVOLVE. TREAT.
who we are
our epidemic snapshot
let's end AIDS now
what's going on?
what's on your mind
About National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day was conceived by five national organizations funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 1999 to provide capacity building assistance to Black communities and organizations. The mobilization of communities begin in 2000 with these organizations: Concerned Black Men, Inc. of Philadelphia; Health Watch Information and Promotion Services, Inc.; Jackson State University - Mississippi Urban Research Center; National Black Alcoholism and Addictions Council; and National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS.
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day began as a grass roots effort with hundreds of organizations registering events and/or activities to raise the awareness of HIV and AIDS in their communities. It is continually shaped around the needs of those communities that work hard each and every year to make it a success. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, African Americans have the most severe burden of HIV of all racial/ethnic groups in the United States. Compared with other races and ethnicities, African Americans account for a higher proportion of HIV infections at all stages of disease—from new infections to deaths.
February 7, 2014 marks the 14th year for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, a national HIV testing and treatment community mobilization initiative targeted at Blacks in the United States and the Diaspora. There are four specific focal points: educate, test, involve, and treat. From an educationally focal point, the task is to get African Americans educated about the basics of HIV/AIDS in their local communities. Since testing is at the core of this initiative, it is our intention to have February 7th become an annual or biannual day to get tested for HIV. This is vital for those who are sexually active and those at high risk of contracting HIV. When it comes to community and organization leadership, getting Blacks involved to serve is another key focus. We need Black People from all walks of life, economic classes, literacy levels, shades and tones as well as communities (large and small) to get connected to the work happening on the ground in their local areas. And lastly, for those living with HIV or newly testing positive for the virus, getting them connected to treatment and care services becomes paramount. We have learned that you can't lead Black people towards HIV/AIDS education, prevention, testing, leadership or treatment unless you love them. And, we can't save Black people from an epidemic unless we serve Black people.
With the Affordable Care Act now in motion, it becomes particularly important for those who are at the highest risk of contracting HIV to get tested and connected to HIV/AIDS prevention, education, testing, and treatment programs and services in their area. To learn more about the ACA and how it affects those loving with HIV/AIDS, see video below or visit website:
Regardless of where we stand on sexual orientation, religious beliefs/values, age, income, education or otherwise; Black Life is worth saving and working for the betterment of our survival has to become our paramount objective and goal. "We know how it feels to lose someone from an illness, but we also know how to love someone through it. It is time for us to end AIDS in Black communities by making sure those living with HIV or AIDS take care of themselves. We stand on some strong shoulders that intended for us to survive." says, LaMont "Montee" Evans, NBHAAD National Coordinator.
Since 2006, Healthy Black Communities, Inc. has served as the lead organization for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day under the leadership of LaMont "Montee" Evans who served as the Executive Director for Concerned Black Men, Inc. of Philadelphia and oversaw the initiative between 2003-2004. Evans has been responsible for overseeing the initiative and coordinating communication via email, and regular mail; developing the imagery of the initiative annually; designing and maintaining the website; and ensuring orders and registrations are received and processed accordingly. February 7, 2014 will make the 11th year Evans has overseen NBHAAD either overall or through national partnerships.
This initiative has had an array of national spokespersons: congressional leaders, faith based leaders, entertainers, actors, actresses, authors, radio personalities, and the list goes on and on. Some of the most notable spokespersons have been: President Barack Obama during his term in the Illinois Senate, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Bishop TD Jakes, Radio Personality Tom Joyner, former NAACP President and CEO Kwesi Mfume, Congressman Elijah Cummings, Actor/Author Harper Hill, Screenwriter Patrik Ian Polk, Ludacris, and so many more.
By working together, we can ensure future generations will not have to bury or watch others struggle with HIV/AIDS. This is our time to show what we are made of.