White House’s Harold Phillips’ Recap on National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Content From: Harold J. Phillips, MRP, Director, White House Office of National AIDS PolicyPublished: March 07, 20233 min read



A month ago today, I was honored to participate in three National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD) events that showcased several priorities for the coming year, including increasing public-private partnerships, accelerating our efforts to address structural barriers to HIV prevention and care services, and continuing to highlight the disproportionate impact HIV has on Black and Latino communities—all in the context of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy.

In the morning, I joined Dr. Demetre C. Daskalakis, MD, MPH, Director, CDC Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Deputy Coordinator, White House National Mpox Response; Nikki Romanik, Senior Policy Advisor to Coordinator and Deputy Coordinator, White House National Mpox Response; Rita Harcrow, Director HIV/AIDS Housing, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD); and D.C. leaders for the release of Washington, D.C.’s annual HIV, STI, Hepatitis, and Tuberculosis Surveillance Report. The report showed that Washington, D.C. has moved from a high-incidence to a moderate-incidence jurisdiction, thanks in part to community engagement and implementation of innovating programming. The report also showed ongoing disparities with Black men bearing the disproportionate share of new HIV infections. After the report's release, I visited a new innovative program funded by D.C. through the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. initiative to provide transitional housing for young men receiving PrEP services. While this program is in its initial phase, the preliminary results have been encouraging. As we know, housing is health care, and this program addresses the social determinants of health and holistic well being to assist individuals in attaining and adhering to PrEP.

I also participated in a Live with Leadership conversation to commemorate NBHAAD with Kaye Hayes, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Infectious Disease; Director of the Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy (OIDP); and Executive Director of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS; Dr. Tim Harrison, Principal Deputy Director, OIDP; and Ashley Cason, a creative partner for HHS’ “I am a Work of ART” campaign. The conversation was an honest discussion about addressing HIV in the Black community, how mental health shows up in our lives both personally and professionally, and how stigma and racism continue to affect our efforts to end HIV.

I ended my day giving a talk to employees of Paramount Pictures about HIV in the Black community, the importance of NBHAAD, and the Biden Administration’s efforts as part of the implementation of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy to increase public-private partnerships in HIV initiatives and programs. For more information about HIV in the Black community, please visit CDC’s webpage.

As we recognize awareness days, please follow HIV.gov for National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on March 10, and I look forward to sharing more on this observance.