Congresswoman Barbara Lee Recognizes National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2022
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 raise awareness about HIV and AIDS prevention, care, and education within Black communities. It is a day to commemorate the impact of the disease on their health and social needs, and the work that remains in overcoming structural barriers to HIV prevention and treatment for Black Americans.
“While HIV/AIDS affect people of all backgrounds, Black Americans have a higher rate of new HIV diagnoses,” said Rep. Lee. “In 2018, despite comprising just 13 percent of America’s population, African Americans represented 42 percent of all people living with HIV. After 40 years of combating this disease, we know that we cannot end this epidemic without addressing the racial injustice that prevents Black communities from receiving the medical care they deserve. I am proud to reintroduce this important resolution to increase awareness, spark conversations, highlight the work to reduce HIV in Black or African American communities, and show support for people with and vulnerable to HIV in these communities.”
In 1998, Congress and the Clinton administration created the National Minority AIDS Initiative to help coordinate funding, build capacity, and provide prevention, care, and treatment services within the African-American, Hispanic, Asian Pacific Islander, and Native American communities. National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day was founded the following year by five national organizations to provide capacity-building assistance to Black communities and organizations.
In the years since, the National Minority AIDS Initiative has assisted with leadership development of community-based organizations (CBOs), established provider networks, built community prevention infrastructure, promoted technical assistance among CBOs, and raised awareness among African-American communities. 2022 marks the twenty-fourth year of the National Minority AIDS Initiative.
Goals of the National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Resolution (H.Res. 911):
- Continue the NBHAAD legacy of increasing awareness, sparking conversations, and highlighting the work being done to reduce HIV in Black communities in the U.S.;
- Commend the work of AIDS service organizations, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, health care providers, community health centers, and health departments that are providing effective, evidence-based, prevention, treatment, care, and support services to people living with and vulnerable to HIV/AIDS;
- Support effective and comprehensive HIV prevention education programs to promote the early identification of HIV through voluntary routine testing, and to connect those in need to clinically and culturally appropriate care and treatment as early as possible;
- Support appropriate funding for HIV/AIDS prevention, care, treatment, research, and housing, including community-based approaches to fight stigma, discrimination, racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia; and
- Encourage comprehensive prevention, treatment, and care strategies that empower public health workers, educators, faith leaders, and other stakeholders to engage their communities to help decrease violence, discrimination, and stigma toward individuals who disclose their sexual orientation, gender identity, or HIV status.
The resolution is co-sponsored by Representatives Danny K. Davis, Terri A. Sewell, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Madeleine Dean, Gwen Moore, Joyce Beatty, Don Bacon, Dina Titus, Sheila Jackson Lee, Karen Bass, David N. Cicilline, Donald M. Payne, Jr., Tony Cardenas, Nikema Williams, Adam Smith, John B. Larson, Grace Meng, Paul Tonko, Mark Takano, André Carson, Mondaire Jones, Darren Soto, Ted Deutch, Jahana Hayes, Eddie Bernice Johnson, and Lisa Blunt Rochester.
Congresswoman Lee is a member of the House Appropriations Committee and Chair of the Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations. She serves as Co-Chair of the Steering & Policy Committee, former Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Chair Emeritus of the Progressive Caucus, Co-Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Health Task Force, and Co-Chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus. She also serves as Chair of the Majority Leader’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity. As a member of the House Democratic Leadership, she is the highest ranking Black woman in the U.S. Congress.