NBJC Salutes HIV Advocate Daniel Driffin on Speaking Role at 2016 Democratic National Convention
Washington, DC – Today, 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, salutes Daniel Driffin of NBJC’s 100 Black LGBTQ/SGL Emerging Leaders to Watch (100toWatch) Inaugural Cohort for being selected to speak at the 2016 Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia, PA. Daniel will take the convention stage tonight to speak to his experience as a person living with HIV and the need for greater awareness and access to care for those disproportionately impacted by the disease, especially in communities of color. Daniel’s speech will be the first time that an openly HIV positive speaker will address the DNC since 2004.
“The NBJC family is thrilled and excited that one of our own #100toWatch members will address the DNC, the nation and the world to shine a light on such an important issue like HIV/AIDS,” said Sharon Lettman-Hicks, NBJC Executive Director and CEO. “Black communities, especially Black gay and bisexual men and transgender women, continue to be disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS. Thanks to the Obama Administration’s National HIV/AIDS Strategy, we now have a plan for our nation to end the spread of HIV and support those in our communities and families that continue to bear the brunt of this epidemic. I have great confidence that Daniel will bring voice to so many who are living with HIV and deliver a message of hope for our path forward to see a day when HIV infections are rare and all those living with HIV/AIDS have access to quality health care to defeat this disease.”
Daniel Driffin is a 30 year old Black gay man who has dedicated his life to providing space and support for others living with HIV. He is the founder of Undetectables Atlanta, which is a group of over 400 gay and bisexual men with HIV. He also serves as the co-chair of the Task Force to End AIDS in Fulton County, Georgia. Daniel is the former chair of the Young Black Gay Men’s Leadership Initiative, which is a national movement of young Black men addressing issues disproportionately affecting their peers and has a particular focus on HIV prevention, care, and treatment. He will enter Morehouse School of Medicine’s MPHA program in the fall and has served as a Georgia Equality Youth HIV Policy Advisor.
The slot for an HIV positive speaker at the DNC comes months after group of HIV/AIDS activists representing more than 100 organizations, including NBJC, worked to get an HIV-positive speaker at each convention and impact the Democratic and Republican Party platforms. Activists met with Hillary Clinton earlier this year, and she has pledged if elected president to continue to build upon the National HIV/AIDS Strategy by increasing research, providing greater access to Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for those at-risk for HIV, reforming discriminatory HIV criminalization laws in our nation, and increasing the number of people on HIV treatment worldwide.
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