National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Message - Frederick Douglass House
Our colleagues had the recent honor of visiting a national historic site, in southeast Washington, D.C., which preserves the legacy of a leading voice in the abolitionist movement—the Frederick Douglass House. They were privileged and moved to stand in front of his desk to talk about the importance of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD), recognized annually on February 7. NBHAAD, which is observed during Black History Month, is a day to increase awareness about HIV among Black communities. This year’s NBHAAD theme is “Engage, Educate, Empower: Uniting to End HIV/AIDS in Black Communities.”
During the visit, the Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy (OIDP) Director, Kaye Hayes, MPA, shared her thoughts for this blog about NBHAAD, community engagement, and its importance in ending the HIV epidemic. Listen hereExit Disclaimer.
Ms. Hayes was joined by Dr. Timothy Harrison, OIDP’s Principal Deputy Director, and LCDR Neelam “Nelly” Gazarian, PharmD, MS, AAHIVP, Policy Analyst, OIDP, and they shared information about scaling up access to HIV prevention tools, such as PrEP, NBHAAD, and challenges we face in 2024. Listen hereExit Disclaimer.
Kaye Hayes shared her prioritization of community engagement noting that it is “essential as we fight to end the HIV epidemic […] and it is you in the community that make[s] it all happen.” Both the National HIV/AIDS Strategy and the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. initiative recognize the importance of community engagement. She also celebrated this year’s NBHAAD theme.
Dr. Harrison shared his thoughts about visiting the historic site, noting, “I think there’s a natural alignment here of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, of Black History Month, being in the Frederick Douglass House […] to remember that part of that history is the health and wellness of Black communities.” He also shared that “National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is a reminder that some communities are disproportionately impacted, and African Americans are one of those communities. We must really double down our efforts around PrEP [as] a prevention tool so that we are averting new HIV infections.”
Read our blog here about resources for NBHAAD.
To receive timely updates on NBHAAD and our future communications regarding this important awareness day, follow HIV.gov’s social media channels (FacebookExit Disclaimer, XExit Disclaimer, and InstagramExit Disclaimer) and sign up for updates.