National Black Justice Coalition Honors Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
NBJC Highlights disproportionate impact of HIV/AIDS on young LGBTQ+ Black men, calls for better education, testing and prevention programs nationwide
CONTACT: Anna Zuccaro | firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON, DC — Today, April 10th, is Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. On this day, local, state, federal, and national organizations unite in solidarity with young people affected by HIV and AIDS, shedding light on the virus’ impact, which disproportionately affects young, queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ+/SGL) Black men.
David J. Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, issued the following statement commemorating Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day:
“While we’ve made noteworthy strides toward decreasing rates of HIV/AIDS since the epidemic was introduced in the late 1980s, young, Black, queer, and same gender loving people, especially men, remain uniquely vulnerable to HIV/AIDS transmission, despite so many medical, scientific, and social advances.
“As we honor the young lives lost at the hands of this brutal virus, we must remember that its presence lingers in our communities today due to the disproportionate impacts of racism, stigma, and homophobia. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated all of this and the consequences to our community have been devastating.
“The reality is that young, queer, and same gender loving Black men are more affected by HIV/AIDS than any other community in the United States. To tackle this issue, we need better access to high-quality health care, housing, and HIV/AIDS prevention education. To keep it simple, we need to have more honest, fact-based, and compassionate conversations about sexual health and wellbeing with young people.
“We have the power and resources to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic and to ensure that Black people living with the virus thrive. We will not stop showing up, acting and speaking out for young, queer Black people, who continue to live in constant fear of this virus, until there is a cure. We are hoping to see everyone apply the same energy we have seen in response to the novel coronavirus to ensure that once and for all we can end the disproportionate impact that HIV/AIDS has always had in the Black community”
In March, the National Black Justice Coalition released a toolkit to help eliminate stigma, increase education, and encourage engagement around eliminating the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Black communities.