The NBJC Blog

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Over four intense days of sharing, healing and mobilizing at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, advocates from the across the nation came together to proclaim one thing -- HIV Is Not A Crime! This national training academy, convened by the Sero project and Positive Women’s Network-USA, provided a space for people living with HIV (PLWH) and our allies to learn more about the real-life impact of HIV criminalization laws that continue to hinder the movement to end HIV/AIDS. The even more promising presence at the conference was the attendance of delegations from Mexico, Canada and Germany, adding an international perspective to this critical issue that perpetuates HIV/AIDS stigma globally.

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Since 2013, April 10th has been recognized as National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day (NYHAAD) . NBJC joins youth leaders and activists, advocates, families and communities across our nation on this day with the intention of educating the broader public about the unique impact of HIV/AIDS on young people, especially youth of color. Young people today are the first generation to have never known a world without HIV/AIDS, but continue to be disproportionately infected and affected by the preventable disease.

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April 10 is National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NYHAAD)—a day to remind our communities of the dramatic impact HIV and AIDS has on young people, especially African American lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) youth who are most affected by this preventable disease.

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National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NWGHAAD) is observed annually on March 10 to highlight the importance of women and girls taking action to protect themselves and their partners from HIV through prevention, testing and treatment. Sponsored by the Office on Women's Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, this year's NWGHAAD theme is "The Best Defense is a Good Offense," and as a proud Black woman, I encourage all of my sisters--transgender, queer, same gender loving, gay, lesbian and heterosexual--to get tested to be part of the solution to fight HIV/AIDS.

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Liberation for Black folks must start with a focus on the issues that hinder the most marginalized in our community. Fueled by movements like #BlackLivesMatter, there is a new generation of freedom fighters that are shifting the conversation—Black millennials. This has led the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), the nation’s leading civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, to continue to empower young professionals and emerging leaders, including ourselves. 

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The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) joins communities across the nation and world to recognize International Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR). On this solemn day we honor the lives of our transgender and gender non-conforming (trans*) family who are no longer with us due to senseless acts of hate violence, and also call upon allies to step up and stand in solidarity. 

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To My Young Transgender Sisters,

 

I honor those we have lost and those elders in the community who have paved the way for all transgender people.  As a transgender woman who has been blessed to see 57 years of life, I send a message of hope and love to all young transgender women of color. On this day that reminds us all of how fragile and tragic life can be for folks like us who live our truth unapologetically, I call on you to love yourself with no limits or constraints.  Despite what society, religion or even your family may say—you are right to exist and authenticity has NEVER been a sin.

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Today, April 10, 2015, the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) joins with the nation to recognize National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NYHAAD), which is an annual observance to educate the public about the impact of HIV/AIDS on young people as well as highlight the inspiring work young people are doing across the country to fight the epidemic. Young people today are the first generation to have never known a world without HIV/AIDS. In the United States alone, one in four new HIV cases are among youth, ages 13 to 24. Every month, 1,000 young people acquire HIV, and more than 70,000 young people are currently living with HIV across the country. Most new HIV cases in youth (about 70 percent) occur in gay and bisexual males; most are African American.

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