Black History Month Messages from OIDP

Content From: HIV.govPublished: February 21, 20242 min read


In honor of Black History Month, Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy (OIDP) leadership, including Director, Kaye Hayes, MPA, and Sharonda Brown, Deputy Director of Operations, OIDP, paid tribute to individuals who have worked to help end the HIV epidemic. Ms. Hayes shared her comments for this blog during a visit to the Frederick Douglass House, a national historic site in southeast Washington, D.C., which preserves the legacy of one of America’s leading abolitionists. Watch hereExit Disclaimer.

“I think about Frederick Douglass, who was a social reformer, which makes me think of all the community warriors out there,” Ms. Hayes said. “I want to pay particular tribute to some warriors that have worked in this space, and some women in particular that I’m sad to see no longer with us.” Ms. Hayes honored the memory of Dr. Ada Adimora, an HIV researcher and former member of PACHA; Dr. Dawn Smith, an epidemiologist, medical officer, and researcher in CDC’s Division of HIV Prevention; Janet Clevland, CDC Deputy Division Director at the Division of HIV Prevention, and others.

Expressing gratitude for those continuing to do the work, Ms. Hayes added: “I want to thank and applaud the work that our community partners are doing every day, day in and day out. ... We will continue to fight together as we end this epidemic.”

At the Frederick Douglass House, Sharonda Brown also encouraged everyone to take the time to learn about and celebrate African American history. Watch here.Exit Disclaimer

“We acknowledge the struggles and injustices faced by Black people throughout history, but we also celebrate our triumphs and resilience in the face of adversity,” Ms. Brown said. “It is a time to honor and elevate our voices and pay tribute to our community.” 

We also encourage you to watch the National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day message from Dr. Timothy Harrison, Principal Deputy Director, OIDP, where he also acknowledges the importance of Black History Month. Watch here.

To learn more about Black History Month, visit the HHS page here.