Council members, advocates promote National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Speakers stressed that while there have been significant strides in research and medicine, there are still racial inequities.

Natalia Ryzak

Feb 7, 2023, 7:49 PM

Updated 470 days ago

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City Hall Council Members and local advocates came together Tuesday to promote National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.
They also came out to support the INTRO 895 - a local law expanding availability to rapid testing.
Speakers stressed that while there have been significant strides in research and medicine, there are still racial inequities. In 2016 the CDC reported, one in 11 white men who have sex with men will receive a positive diagnosis. Those numbers are higher for those of color: one in four for Latino men, and one in two for Black men.
“Today, there are more than 1.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States, including 476,100 of them are Black.  HIV deaths, that's HIV death rates, which HIV is indicated as a leading cause of death are  highest among Black people,” said New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.
Advocates and health professionals say testing and education is critical to fixing the disparities. INTRO 895 promotes more rapid testing sites especially in communities and boroughs with higher rates as well as more access to prevention medications like PREP.
"There is so much more to do. We have to continue to make sure that our elected officials promote and support housing insecurity, income insecurity, and all of the social and political
determinants that impact and drive HIV,” said C. Virginia Fields, CEO of Black Health.
Speakers also addressed the need to end the stigma, stressing the importance of awareness and education while also saying that those who are diagnosed still lead normal healthy lives.


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