South is due to the stigma against HIV and prevalent attitudes against gay men and transgender people. Superimpose onto that the double whammy of racism and how it impacts blacks and Latinos, and you create a climate where many people face regular challenges with employment, housing, and accessing the health system.
Discrimination based on race, sexual orientation or both is more the rule than the exception and people in low-income communities frequently don’t have the knowledge, skills or financial resources to become more proactive with their health. I am Life® is an affirmative campaign that empowers black and Latino ambassadors to advocate for themselves and recognize their right to respect and longevity.
For the HIV epidemic, IAL drives home the critical elements for successful HIV prevention. First, as I have discussed in many articles, treatment is prevention. A person can only acquire HIV from another person who has HIV and is not suppressed on treatment.
You should well understand from reading my articles that a person who is suppressed on treatment, or who has so little virus in their blood that they are undetectable by the viral load test, cannot transmit HIV to someone else. Undetectable =Untransmittable. But this brings us back to the issue of why people who are prescribed medicine for HIV don’t take it. This is discussed in the recent article on medication adherence.
The IAL campaign developed an approach to get members of these disproportionately affected communities to serve as ambassadors, communicating basic principles of adhering to HIV meds to become and stay undetectable and