In the USA, as well as several other countries, today is designated National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. This is the event that empowers the African-American community to accept a major role in the prevention and treatment of HIV within not only its own community but throughout the world as well. The devastating impact of HIV on the communities of color here in the USA emphasized the need for definitive community action!
A Brief History of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day:
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day was conceived by five national organizations funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 1999. The conception was in response to the alarming rate of infection among African-Americans of HIV. The purpose was to provide capacity building assistance to Black communities and organizations in order to combat the disease growth.
The very first National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day was celebrated on February 7, 2000, under the sponsorship of : Concerned Black Men of Philadelphia, Health Watch Information and Prevention Services, Jackson State University – Mississippi Urban Research Center, National Black Alcoholism and Addictions Council and the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS.
This year, 2020, marks the 20th anniversary of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.
The governing body for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is the Strategic Leadership Council (SLC). This body provides guidance, direction and strategic support to engaging additional African-American community involvement in making the observance a success.
The 2020 theme for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is “We’re in this, together.”
The goals of the National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day:
The SLC has adopted the following goals for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day:
Education: To educate the African-Americans about the infection of HIV and the disease of AIDS.
Involvement: To educate the African-American community of the different tools of both knowledge and the prevention efforts against HIV/AIDS.
Testing: To encourage and to ensure that as many African-Americans as possible learn of their HIV status.
Treatment: To educate and encourage African-Americans living with HIV to know and understand successful strategies to manage their HIV infection.
In enthusiastically endorsing CDC efforts to promote the elimination of the virus within the Black community and the CDC efforts to offer effective treatments against the virus, the SLC hopes to raise awareness of positive and valuable life-giving options for all African-Americans.
Education About HIV/AIDS Is Vital
Education is a basic essential in all aspects related to HIV/AIDS as it is the case in all diseases. The knowledge and understanding of the facts surrounding HIV infection and transmission is important in enjoying a disease-free life. It assists in our involvement in preventing the continued growth of the infected population and in combating the myriad of myths and stigmas that accompany the diagnosis. The comprehension of the many medications and the processes of treatment lead to healthier lives of the numerous persons worldwide living with HIV.
As of now, there is no known cure or vaccine for either HIV or AIDS. However, knowledge and understanding of the virus brings us closer to the ultimate goal of 0% infection rates of HIV. The diagnosis of AIDS is a result of HIV infection. The elimination of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) eradicates AIDS.
For World AIDS Day, 2018, I published on December 1, information concerning PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), a once-a-day pill that is more than 90% effective in preventing the infection of HIV through sexual transmission. To read or refer to my earlier posting, please click, World AIDS Day, 2018. What’s being shared here today is the current news of a medical study process about an expansion goal of PrEP treatment.
Microneedle Patches: It’s a drug-delivery mechanism for the future – a microneedle patch applied to the skin. The patch’s surface includes hundreds of tiny medication-infused projections that enter the skin and then dissolve. They leave behind nanoparticles of antiretrovirals that could work as long-acting treatment or pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Researchers from the University of Liverpool, UK and Queen’s University in Belfast, UK have been awarded a grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council in the United Kingdom to develop the technology. The Liverpool researchers began investigating nanomedicine in 2009 and have since collaborated with other investigators in Africa, Europe and North America. The research team will rely on high-power computational models to design and anticipate the functioning of the patches. This will accelerate the design process and provide useful information to guide laboratory experiments and ultimately clinical trials.
Source: POZ Magazine: Health, Life & HIV, January/February, 2020
This grant will help provide additional studies for the prevention of HIV transmission sexually and help to end the fear of interaction between HIV positive and negative persons. The results could prove to enhance the lives of persons living with HIV and their non-infected partners.
It is crucial that all of us, regardless of our race, gender, national origin or sexual preference keep in mind the precautions to use before we engage in sex with another and to the basic fact that the use of alcohol or other substances can impair our health. If we all work together, we can become involved in the extraordinary efforts to eliminate the effects of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, on all of us!
Tennis great, Arthur Ashe, pictured above, a Wimbledon winner in doubles (1971) and singles (1975), and a native of Richmond, Virginia, USA (the same city where my family once lived) died of complications of AIDS on February, 6, 1993, at the age of 49 years old. Ashe contracted HIV from a surgical blood transfusion prior to the implementation of testing all donated blood in the USA. He was an international advocate for human rights and he opposed the racial policies of the South African government before the introduction of universal suffrage and freedom for all Africans.
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is annually observed on the day after his death. When Ashe first publicly acknowledged his infection with HIV, he became a fervent advocate for services and equality for all persons living with HIV.