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Black AIDS Institute Responds to DaBaby’s Comments

We recently witnessed inaccurate and hurtful comments directed towards our community. As the nation’s only HIV organization focused exclusively on ending the epidemic in Black America, here’s what you need to know:

• When they go low, we go high: For 22 years, we have represented Black Americans who are most impacted by HIV. We are intentional about turning comments that stem from homophobia, transphobia, and ignorance about HIV into opportunities to uplift our people and reinforce the value of our work.

• HIV impacts Black and LGBTQ communities the most: Of all Americans living with HIV today, Black LGBTQ communities are disproportionately impacted. This is not because of individual behaviors, but because of how HIV thrives on inhumanity, hatred, and exclusion. While mainstream media does not regularly focus on HIV anymore, it remains a crisis in Black communities.

• HIV is not a death sentence: HIV science has made possible: an HIV test in the comfort of your own home, a daily pill to prevent HIV, and routine HIV treatment that keeps you healthy and stops the virus from passing on. People are thriving while living with HIV.

• Stigma harms us more than HIV does: Stigmatizing this health condition, which is no different from many other chronic diseases, holds people back from accessing life-saving HIV services. It also deters the progress made toward uplifting the lives of people who are Black, LGBTQ, and/or living with HIV. All Black Lives Matter.

• Walking the talk: For 22 years, our programs have educated Black communities about HIV, trained Black HIV leaders, and provided safe spaces and stigma reduction programs. We are building and supporting the efforts that will end HIV in Black communities over the next 10 years. It is clear that Black leadership to end HIV is more critical than ever.

This incident and the public reaction prove there is much work to be done and it must be done in the whole of Black communities. Here are resources to know better and do better:

Understand how Black folks are impacted by HIV and share our resources.

• Learn the HIV basics.

• Get tested at our clinic in South LA or anywhere else in the country.

Learn about PrEP to prevent HIV.

• Grow your professional expertise with Black AIDS Institute's African American HIV University courses that are free and online—be a part of the people who end HIV in the United States.

Donate to support our programs that have been running for 22 years and remain even more relevant today.

Dedicated to ending HIV in my lifetime,
Raniyah Copeland, president and CEO of Black AIDS Institute

Source: Black AIDS Institute