On National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, NMAC will partner with Paramount Pictures to educate their employees on HIV in the African American community. I want to thank Harold Phillips, Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy, for agreeing to keynote. I’ve asked him to talk about the need for authentic stories about HIV that inspire and remind viewers that our fight is not over.
Here’s the truth: our movement and the people we serve are in the crosshairs of a political fight for our lives. Communities highly impacted by HIV are being demonized for political gain. Between the anti-PrEP court case in Texas and the state of Tennessee’s decision to turn back their core HIV prevention funds, we are under attack. Stories are critically needed to humanize our struggle so we can be seen as the s/heroes we are and not predators or groomers.
It is time to take back the narrative, to share the importance and success of HIV prevention and care, and to tell our stories through the people we service. It will not always be pretty, but it is real. I will never forget Pandora Singleton and Project Azuka. As a southern Black woman, she not only fought to care for HIV positive women, but she also fought against the stigma and racism facing Black women in America. Her story, particularly at this time, needs to be told.
It’s time to build the case for why HIV prevention and care are essential health services, to talk about fighting an epidemic and not people with HIV, and to document our successes so the public understands it’s about disease prevention and not lifestyle promotion. NMAC is working with Propper Daily to tell the stories of young Black women (cis & trans). The campaign will be released at the 2023 Biomedical HIV Prevention Summit. To nominate women to be part of the effort, please contact Gabriella Spencer (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This afternoon, at 1:00 PM ET, we will hold an NBHAAD Facebook Live event with community leaders talking about how they are currently making history in the fight against HIV. Please join us at Facebook.com/NMACCommunity.
On National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, commit to telling the stories of the s/heroes in the struggle and to remind America of the importance of our work. We must define ourselves and not let a false narrative be the story.
Yours in the Struggle,