National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
February 7 is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD). Each year, NBHAAD is a day to recommit to the fight against HIV among blacks/African Americans. Although more needs to be done to increase testing and treatment among this community, we are encouraged by decreasing HIV diagnoses during recent years among many groups of blacks in the United States and elsewhere.
For example, US black women experienced a 20% decrease in HIV diagnoses during 2011–2015. Also, good news is that during the same period, new diagnoses among young black gay and bisexual men ages 13–24 years have stabilized, and diagnoses among black gay and bisexual men ages 45–54 years have decreased by 25%. Nationwide HIV prevention efforts appear to be helping reduce the number of HIV diagnoses among blacks.
Despite this progress, improvements are uneven. Data for 2016 indicate that blacks accounted for 44% of new HIV diagnoses, although they make up only 12% of the U.S. population. Moreover, new HIV diagnoses among black gay and bisexual men ages 25–34 years increased by 30%!
But as this year’s NBHAAD theme reminds us, we must “Stay the Course” and continue our prevention efforts, even when we believe the numbers are encouraging. NBHAAD is an important day, but it is only one day a year. We can do more every day to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities.
What can you do?
Get Tested. Knowing your HIV status is key to keeping you and