February 07, 2018

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Marks National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus Co-Chair Congresswoman Barbara Lee reintroduced a resolution supporting the goals and ideals of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, which has been observed on February 7th each year since 1999. National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is an opportunity to reflect the impact of HIV on the African American community, support those living with the virus and encourage every American to take a pro-active approach to their health.

“For many in the African American community, the AIDS epidemic is personal. This year’s theme, ‘Stay the Course, the Fight is Not Over’ is a reminder that while we have made tremendous progress over the years, we still have much more work to do to end the epidemic,” said Congresswoman Lee. “Stigma, inequality, racism and discrimination in health services all serve as barriers to ending HIV/AIDS in the African American community. I encourage everyone to stay the course and get tested. Together, we can reach our collective goal of an AIDS-free generation.”

Studies by the Center for Disease Control on the HIV epidemic show the African American community and other communities of color have borne the brunt of this public health emergency. According to the CDC, in 2016 African Americans accounted for 44 percent of all new HIV infections, despite comprising just 12 percent of the U.S. population. In fact, nearly 500,000 African Americans are living with HIV in the U.S, but 1 in 6 are not aware of their status.