Dear Colleague: National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD) 2023

Content From: Robyn Neblett Fanfair, MD, MPH, Captain, USPHS, Acting Director, Division of HIV Prevention, National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Jonathan Mermin, MD, MPH, RADM and Assistant Surgeon General, USPHS, Director, National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and PreventionPublished: February 01, 20233 min read



Content From: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Communication Center

( Editorial Note: Please read an important message from our CDC colleagues about NBHAAD. And please remember to sign up for the NBHAAD Live with Leadership webinar.)

February 1, 2023

Dear Colleague,

February 7 is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD), a day to highlight the progress of HIV testing, prevention, and treatment efforts and consider our ongoing challenges to reducing HIV among Black or African American people (hereafter referred to as African American people) in the United States. We have made strides in reducing the disproportionate impact of HIV on African American communities. Despite this progress, racism, poverty, and stigma continue to drive health disparities and make it more difficult for African American people to access HIV testing, prevention, and care services.

This NBHAAD, we invite our colleagues in HIV care and advocacy, health care, and public health to join us in challenging these systemic root causes of HIV disparities in African American communities in the United States. HIV surveillance data show us that African American people are disproportionately affected by HIV, making up 12% of the population, but accounting for 42% (12,827) of the 30,635 new HIV diagnoses in the United States and dependent areas in 2020. African American gay and bisexual men are the group most affected by HIV, making up 65% (8,294) of new HIV diagnoses among African American people in 2020.*

Research shows that a major source of these racial disparities is a lack of access to high-quality HIV prevention and treatment services. PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) coverage, for example, is lower among African American people—only 8% of African American people who could benefit from PrEP were prescribed PrEP in 2019, compared to 23% of people overall. To help raise PrEP awareness and uptake, health care providers can follow CDC’s updated PrEP guideline(PDF, 1.57MB) to inform all sexually active people about PrEP.

Intersecting racial and economic factors create structural barriers to HIV prevention and treatment in African American communities. Our nation’s troubled history of medical racism and experiences with discrimination from health care providers have contributed to high levels of mistrust in the health care system among African American people. These same factors increase disparities for other illnesses, including mpox, other sexually transmitted diseases, and viral hepatitis. We can all work to address stigma and racism within our institutions and look for ways to connect African American people with HIV testing and prevention services, as well as compassionate, patient-centered, stigma-free HIV care.

This NBHAAD, help us raise awareness about HIV testing, prevention, and treatment for African American people by downloading and sharing resources from CDC’s Let’s Stop HIV Together campaign, the national campaign of both the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S.(EHE)initiative and the National HIV/AIDS StrategyLet’s Stop HIV Together is an evidence-based campaign created in English and Spanish that aims to empower communities, partners, and health care providers to reduce HIV stigma and promote HIV testingprevention, and treatment. You can also share social media content from CDC’s digital toolkit using the #NBHAAD and #StopHIVTogether hashtags. Together, we can work to address HIV disparities and enhance HIV prevention efforts among African American people in the United States.


/Robyn Fanfair/ 

Robyn Neblett Fanfair, MD, MPH

Captain, USPHS

Acting Division Director

Division of HIV Prevention 
National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention 
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 

/Jonathan Mermin/

Jonathan H. Mermin, MD, MPH
Rear Admiral and Assistant Surgeon General, USPHS
National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Stay connected: @DrMerminCDCExit Disclaimer & Connections

*Data for 2020 should be interpreted with caution due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on access to HIV testing, care-related services, and case surveillance activities in state and local jurisdictions.