HRC honors National Gay Men’s HIV and AIDS Awareness Day 2019

Message submitted by former HRC Digital Media Director Helen Parshall

Today, HRC marks National Gay Men’s HIV and AIDS Awareness Day, which provides a vital opportunity to shine the spotlight on the disproportionate impact of HIV and AIDS on gay and bisexual men in the United States.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gay and bisexual men are the population most affected by HIV, accounting for 70% of all new diagnoses in the United States in 2017. More than a third of those newly diagnosed are black and African American men. followed by Latinx men.

The theme of this year’s CDC campaign is “the conversation about HIV is changing,” anchored in the new tools and advances we have to tackle HIV in our communities. Far too many people living with HIV do not know their status and ignore the current realities of HIV prevention, treatment and care.

In recent years, the LGBTQ community has benefited from biomedical interventions such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a drug that prevents HIV when taken as prescribed. However, this drug is not always accessible to people most at risk of contracting HIV, including black and Latin gay, bisexual and transgender people.

If trends continue, one in six gay and bisexual men will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime, including one in two black gay and bisexual men, one in four Latinx gay and bisexual men, and one in four white gay and bisexual men. 11.

Recently, non-binary author and reality TV star Jonathan Van Ness bravely spoke about survivorship of sexual abuse and living with HIV, launching a long-awaited national conversation about the current realities of treatment and care. of HIV in the United States. : A Raw Journey to Self-Love, ”provides a powerful insight into Van Ness’ journey to embrace self-love and acceptance.

Stigma and shame prevent many people, especially LGBTQ people, from talking about these issues with their health care providers due to fear of discrimination. Breaking this wall of silence and sharing stories about the impact of HIV and AIDS on our communities is a key part of the fight to end HIV.

For more information on the HRC Foundation’s work to end HIV and HIV-related stigma, Click here.

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