NBJC Statement In Support of the PrEP Assistance Program Act
WASHINGTON — After Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) introduced the PrEP Assistance Program Act, David Johns, Executive Director of the National Black Justice Coalition released the following statement:
“The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is proud to support the PrEP Assistance Program Act introduced by Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) today, because it supports the critical mission of creating a world where Black people, including Black people living with HIV/AIDS can live healthy, full lives. The PrEP Assistance Program Act will increase funding for programs and resources to prevent the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases while also providing resources for counseling and outreach to high-risk populations.
“We are proud to support this bill because it will increase awareness, advocacy, prevention, treatment and support in Black communities, which is especially important given the disproportionate impact the HIV epidemic continues to have in Black communities. The work that the PrEP Assistance Program Act supports is critical to ending HIV stigma, reducing transmission of the virus and supporting individuals living with HIV.
“Black people are dying at faster rates than their non-Black counterparts as a result of the HIV epidemic, and in the year 2019, this should not and does not have to be our reality. As the nation’s leading civil rights organization committed to the intersections of racial justice and LGBTQ equality, The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is committed to ensuring the holistic health and wellness of all Black people, which includes supporting individuals living with HIV as well as working to increase HIV awareness, advocacy, prevention, and support.
“NBJC understands that unless and until we focus on the often neglected and ignored needs of the members of our community who are most marginalized, neglected and ignored the whole community will continue to suffer. This belief is built upon a foundational understanding that unless all of us are free, none of us are free. Similarly, until every member of the Black community is healthy, the entire Black community will suffer as a result.
“We thank Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman for her tireless efforts to advance racial justice, LGBTQ equity, and for ensuring equal protection under the law for members of our community. It is worth noting that In the past, she has cosponsored legislation designed to increase equity for the LGBTQ community both throughout the country and in her home state of New Jersey.
“NBJC looks forward to working with Rep. Coleman and as well as other elected officials to ensure the passage of the PrEP Assistance Program Act.”