Health & Wellness – A Celebration of Billy Porter
We celebrate Billy Porter, who recently publicly shared that he is HIV positive. He was diagnosed 14 years ago, but did not tell many people, fearing marginalization and retaliation in the industry. By inviting us in, Billy is helping to reduce the stigma around HIV within the Black LGBTQ+ community and shows that you can be HIV positive and not only survive but thrive. This inviting in can encourage more members of our community to get tested, get and stay connected to care and be more compassionate and understanding towards those in the community living with HIV. These are just some of the ways we can all get free and make space to bring all parts of ourselves everywhere we go.
Get Tested, At Home
The CDC has launched an online program offering 100,000 free rapid self-testing kits. The online portal allows people to order up to two free kits every 90 days, with the priority audience being Black and Latinx gay and bisexual men, trans women, Black women and people who live in the End the HIV/AIDS Epidemic jurisdictions. Visit the TakeMeHome website and order your free HIV testing kit today. Be sure to prepare yourself for all possible responses–leverage your medical providers, your family, and community for support.
HIV Long-Term Survivors Awareness Day
June 5th is HIV Long-Term Survivors Awareness Day. This is a day that honors long-term survivors of the HIV epidemic and is a chance to raise awareness for the issues survivors face, the needs they have and their personal journeys. This year is the 40th anniversary of the start of the HIV/AIDS pandemic and the 2021 theme is AIDS at 40: What Now? Priorities of the day include improving the quality of life for people aging with HIV, demanding universal treatment to help end the HIV pandemic and overcoming the challenges of poverty and economic insecurity.
To share your own story and insights or boost others use #HLTSAD and #NBJCAdvocacy.
Facts about HIV in Older African Americans:
- Older African Americans suffer from higher rates of HIV morbidity and mortality compared to other racial and ethnic groups.
- African Americans make up 39% of older people living with HIV.
- Older African Americans are less likely to get HIV care that includes getting tested, diagnosed and achieving viral suppression, compared to other older people of other races and ethnicities.
Caribbean-American HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
Caribbean-American HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is June 8th. This is a day to devote attention and resources to testing and treatment for Caribbean-Americans.
- In 2013, there were 250,000 people in the Caribbean living with HIV. In the Caribbean, like the US, HIV disproportionately affects men who have sex with men. The Caribbean is the place that has the second-highest HIV prevalence in the world, though in 2019, 77% of people living with HIV living in the Caribbean knew their status.
Please check out NBJC’s Caribbean-American HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Toolkit to learn more about HIV as it relates to Caribbean-Americans.
Use the #NCAHAAD & #NBJCAdvocacy to spread awareness and love.