February 7 is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2022
- Post Date: 2/6/2022
- Author: Monica M. Scott, public education and volunteers coordinator
- Reading Time: 4 minute read
Last October, the New York City Board of Health passed a resolution declaring racism a public health crisis footnote 1. The resolution, which can be downloaded from the city’s website, highlights the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on BIPOC New Yorkers, especially Black and Latinx residents. These two groups have disproportionately high COVID-19 infection and death rates. The resolution also makes connections between anti-Asian violence, increased interactions with law enforcement, and other areas of racial inequity that have affected health outcomes for BIPOC communities. One area mentioned is HIV.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shares that Black/African American people in the United States make up 42% of new HIV diagnoses. Though the diagnosis rates have generally been on a stable or downward trend, compared with other groups, these rates remain the highest. (Latinx communities have the second highest rate at 29% of all new HIV diagnoses.) Advocates like David Jones, Executive Director of the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), say these rates are not caused by high-risk behavior footnote 2. Instead, Jones cites the social determinants of health.
Social Determinants of Health
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines the Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) (external link) as the “conditions in the environments where people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks.” footnote 3
The SDOH are listed below:
- Economic Stability
- Education Access and Quality
- Health Care and Built Environment
- Neighborhood and Built Environment
- Social and Community Context
The effects of these determinants can be seen in the New York City Board of Health’s resolution declaring racism a public health crisis. Both the CDC and NBJC have created initiatives to address these unique challenges and use National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day to continue providing resources about testing, prevention, treatment, and stigma.
Join the Let’s Stop HIV Together (external link) campaign by learning more about HIV/AIDS. For additional information and resources, visit National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day at hiv.gov (external link) and National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day - NBHAAD at the National Black Justice Coalition (external link).
To learn about how Champaign-Urbana is addressing HIV/AIDS in the Black community, attend Spurlock’s upcoming Contemporary Conversations program on Thursday, February 10.