Washington, D.C. In recognition of the 2019 National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day ( NGMHAAD ) and to call public attention to the disproportionate impact of the AIDS epidemic on gay men, bisexual men, same gender loving ( SGL ) men and other men who have sex with men ( MSM ), David Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition ( NBJC ), released the following statement:
"This year, we want to encourage the Black community to recognize National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day and 'Start Talking. Stop HIV.'
"Gay and bisexual men, especially Black gay, bisexual and same gender loving men, are the disproportionately affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Because Black people still experience the highest infection and mortality rates from this treatable condition, it's important to encourage Black same gender loving men and our loved ones, to share their unique stories and celebrate Black people thriving with HIV so we can all thrive.
"Stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ/SGL people and communities still prevents far too many of us from having critical conversations about prevention and accessing resources that already exist, but National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day should be a reminder that there are resources dedicated to dismantling stigma like the NGMHAAD Toolkit and preventive measures like PrEP, which minimizes the risk of HIV by 99 percent when taken daily.
"We've made great strides in knowledge, treatments and antiretroviral therapies, but there is still no cure for AIDS. To thrive and survive in a world with HIV/AIDS, we have to know our status, connect to and stay in care to keep the virus under control.
"Finding solutions to this enduring epidemic, so that all Black people can thrive, is on all of us. The National Black Justice Coalition will not stop working within our community, to reverse negative trends that save lives, literally. Whether engaging with local health clinics or elected officials on Capitol Hill, we will continue to fight for the health and well-being of our community."
—From a press release
The National Black Justice Coalition is ( NBJC ) is America's leading civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving ( LGBTQ/SGL ) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS.