Today is National Black HIV & AIDS Awareness Day.
How wonderful this day exists during Black History Month? National Black HIV & AIDS Awareness Day is a great time where as the Black community, we can highlight the importance behind having meaningful conversations with self, our circle and family on the stigma that plagues our intersectional lives.
Black Trans* Women are underserved, displaced, and underemployed. Those titles alone can keep us and those dear to our hearts from being educated, affirmed, and empowered. Some Black Trans* Women are sex workers striving to escape their environments of hate and domestic abuse. Statistics have shown one can find it difficult both accessing and staying in care let alone trusting their healthcare providers with their status information and vulnerability while navigating life in survival mode.
Lack of proper funding which can provide sustainable income to someone who is experiencing displacement becomes more of an obstacle. Often times those who are living with HIV & AIDS are not the ones who are in place to create the programs and allocate funds that help serve their community. Trauma is worth more than a pizza and a $25 gift card in many cases, yet this is how agencies create this band aid affect that has shown to not result much success when it comes to reporting accurate numbers. Therapy with someone who resonates with you, affirming conversations amongst those you trust and the opportunity to be seen as human can go way further with a community who is in constant dealing with folks who are just there for a paycheck.
Everyday new cases of HIV and sometimes AIDS diagnosis are discovered and reported where we find the questions of:
-“How Can WE Get to 0?”
-“What are WE doing or seeing within our communities to end stigma around those who live with HIV and those who are vulnerable to this disease?”
We have many brilliant minds working to educate those who may not know or understand what living with HIV looks or feels like. Brilliant minds who come from a place of advocacy whether it be a personal approach or to elevate voices of those who are not in the forefront. In all, to address stigma is a way for the Black Community to get to “0”.
I could give statistics but that to me would not do justice by supplying numbers. If you are that type of person whose into numbers, by all means here are a few (1 & 2) resources you can utilize that may answer your questions.
Today you can do your part in helping your loved ones and community get to “0”.
Getting tested and being consistent by testing regularly.
Engaging in sex positive conversations refraining from shaming and causing isolation.
Openly speaking about preventative measures of #prep #pep #condoms and where you stand on those tools.
We can set a tone where we begin having beautiful conversation at the tables we once used to share our history. Currently this IS our history. As we continue to be a culture of influence, we have the opportunity to add to our excellence by leading the forge ending an epidemic with our words, minds, love, and awareness. None of us can find peace nor freedom if we all are not at the table.
Happy Black History Month
Happy National Black HIV & AIDS Awareness Day