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The National Black Justice Coalition Endorses House Resolution Commemorating 40th Anniversary of HIV/AIDS Epidemic

CONTACT: Anna Zuccaro |

NBJC co-signs resolution by Rep. Barbara Lee &  Rep. Jenniffer González-Colón urging more action, continued commitment in fight to end HIV/AIDS

House Resolution Honors Survivors & Lives Lost to HIV/AIDS on 40th Anniversary of Epidemic

WASHINGTON, DC — Following the first diagnoses of the HIV/AIDS epidemic 40 years ago today, the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is endorsing a Resolution from Rep. Barbara Lee and Rep. Jenniffer González-Colón’s House calling for a cure to HIV/AIDS by 2030.

The resolution states the need for more robust research and investments throughout the domestic, bilateral, multilateral, and private sectors, and advocates for stronger efforts in HIV/AIDS prevention, care, treatment services, and research programs for communities most impacted by HIV and for people living with HIV.


More than 770,000 people have died since the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Black Americans, Latinos, Asians, American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS nationwide, especially young Black and Latino men.

In 2018, Black/African American people accounted for 13% of the U.S. population but 42% (16,002) of the 37,968 new HIV diagnoses in the United States and dependent areas. Black women accounted for 57% of the new HIV diagnoses among women. The CDC has found that men who have sex with men (MSM), particularly young Black and Latino men are the most affected by HIV/AIDS in the United States. Persons who inject drugs account for about 1 in 15 HIV diagnoses in the United States. In recent years, the opioid (including prescription and synthetic opioids) and heroin crisis has led to increased numbers of new HIV diagnoses. Among people assigned male and female at birth who were infected by HIV through injected drug use, 30% identify as Black. Adult and adolescent people who inject drugs (PWID) accounted for 10% (3,864) of new HIV diagnoses in the United States with growing numbers as the opioid crisis continues.

“As we speak, 44 percent of Black transgender women are living with HIV nationwide. Transgender women are 49 times more likely to be diagnosed with HIV compared to the global general adult population. These trends are consistent throughout our very diverse community and this is beyond problematic,” said David J. Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition. “Despite the immeasurable strides we’ve made combating HIV/AIDS over the past four decades, the odds that trans women will contract this virus are still harrowing.

“While we have a long way to go before eradicating what’s left of this brutal epidemic, a lot has changed for the better in forty years. An HIV diagnosis used to mean certain death for whoever received it. Today, we’ve made strides researching the illness, educating vulnerable communities, reducing transmission rates, and spreading awareness about medications like PrEP. 

“We uplift the approach taken by this resolution for more robust research and investments throughout the domestic, bilateral, multilateral, and private sectors to identify a vaccine and/or cure for HIV/AIDS. We saw what this kind of collaboration can achieve in the last year with the COVID19 vaccine and hope that it is a good sign that we can end this epidemic too. 

“We endorsed Rep. Lee and González-Colón’s HIV/AIDS resolution to honor the lives lost to HIV/AIDS, to support those living with HIV in modern-day, and as a token of our willingness to work with members of Congress to accomplish the goal of ending the epidemic over the next nine years.”

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.