December 1 is World AIDS Day –– a day set aside to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS. This year, the World Health Organization is seeking to end inequality surrounding the health condition, including access to care and reducing stigma.
HIV remains a top public health issue among health experts and researchers. While WHO acknowledges the major strides in research and expansion of medical care for those impacted by HIV/AIDS, the organization says there's still work to be done.
"Division, disparity and disregard for human rights are among the failures that allowed HIV to become and remain a global health crisis," the organization's website reads. "Now, COVID-19 is exacerbating inequities and disruptions to services, making the lives of many people living with HIV more difficult."
This World AIDS Day, WHO is "calling on global leaders and citizens to rally to confront the inequalities that drive AIDS and to reach people who are currently not receiving essential HIV services."
HIV in the Black Community
Black people and other people of color continue to be contract HIV at higher rates. In 2018, Black people made up 42% of the new HIV diagnoses, marking the highest rate of any racial group in the country.
That same year, Black women and girls made up more than half –– 57% –– of new diagnoses among all women.
A recent CDC study found that the rate of new infection among Black and Latino men who identify as gay and bisexual has not declined in the last 10 years, despite an overall 8% decline among men who identify as gay and bisexual. The study found that most of that decline was among white men who identify as gay and bisexual.
Health officials say the data emphasizes the need to address inequality, particularly gaps in care for people living with HIV, and other underlying social causes.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said these trends have unfortunately been seen since as early as 1986.
Resources For Us, By Us
These Black-founded and led organizations are seeking to address our community in ending disparities in care, stigma, and supporting people living with HIV.
Click on the organization's name to learn more.