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Statement on National Transgender HIV Testing Day


WASHINGTON — In recognition of National Transgender HIV Testing Day and to call public attention to the disproportionate impact of the AIDS epidemic on Black communities, and especially Black Trans people, David Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), released the following statement:

“The COVID-19 crisis has only further demonstrated the blatant health disparities disproportionately impacting Black Americas. Although social distancing may change how we assess our risk and how we can engage with testing safely, this is the moment for all Americans to recognize that a system that allows some to fall through the cracks is not a good enough system. It’s beyond time we improve our systems to ensure they account for those most frequently neglected and ignored. 

“We should use National Transgender HIV Testing Day to remember that HIV and AIDS have always had the greatest impact on the most marginalized among us. Black trans people were and remain uniquely impacted by HIV/AIDS and we are seeing similar trends with COVID-19; now we know better, we should learn from past lessons and avoid repeating life-threatening mistakes. We will not solve either of these crises in a lab, but with the moral courage to create a healthcare system built around our most marginalized, not our most wealthy.”

The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS.