National Black HIV or AIDS Awareness Day
Tallahassee, Florida— Today is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD), an annual celebratory effort to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS prevention, care and treatment in communities of color nationwide . The first National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day was observed in 1999, and it is the twenty-third year that the NBHAAD has been recognized.
“Many issues impact individual and community health – it doesn’t exist in a vacuum. As we continue to work to end new HIV transmission in Florida, we must continue to address many critical factors that create barriers in our communities,” said the state’s chief medical officer, Joseph Ladapo. “This includes improving access to PrEP – pre-exposure prophylaxis, a proven prevention tool – in all of our vulnerable communities, especially our black communities and other minority communities in Florida.”
Ending HIV transmission in our state requires addressing risk factors and encouraging meaningful conversations about HIV. Forty percent of the 3,504 Floridians who were diagnosed with HIV in 2020 were black. It is crucial that people living with HIV start treatment as soon as possible after diagnosis.
Regular HIV care includes antiretroviral therapy (ART), which decreases HIV in the body. This decrease, called viral suppression, leads to better health outcomes. Immediate and ongoing treatment with ART usually leads to a long and healthy life for people living with HIV. It is also an effective method of HIV prevention. People living with HIV who take antiretroviral drugs as prescribed and who reach and maintain an undetectable viral load cannot transmit HIV to their sexual partners.
The Department also partners with organizations across the state to observe the NBHAAD. Check out our online events calendar to find out what’s happening in your area and how you can commemorate this National Health Observation Day.
Knowing your HIV status protects you and your community. Visit KnowYourHIVStatus.com to learn more. You can also call the Florida HIV/AIDS Hotline at 1-800-FLA-AIDS, 1-800-545-SIDA (in Spanish) or 1-800-AIDS-101 (in Creole) for more information.
Learn more about HIV prevention and treatment
Recently, the Department also launched a new partnership with the Florida AIDS Drug Assistance Program to provide uninsured clients with expanded access to medications through a network of independent pharmacies and commercial drugstore chains throughout the state.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of their routine health care. People at high risk should get tested more often.
About the Florida Department of Health
The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, strives to protect, promote, and improve the health of all Florida residents through integrated state, county, and from the community.
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