As we wrap up 2017, it would be an understatement to say that this has been a very difficult year of uncertainty for poor people, Black people and other people of color, people living with HIV/AIDS and/or in need of healthcare, and maybe our democracy as a whole.
Today, the US Congress is poised to pass sweeping tax reform that gives huge tax give-always to corporations and the richest of Americans, while raising taxes on many middle- and working-class families, potentially strips away healthcare for 13 million Americans, and undermines efforts to end the AIDS epidemic—not to mention the trillions of dollars of debt it dumps upon increasingly Black and Brown future generations. Created in secret back rooms, the bill was pushed through so quickly that no one really knows all of the ways that the law will hurt us.
Last week the Trump administration “banned” the CDC and other HHS agencies from using seven words, including “vulnerable,” “diversity,” “science-based,” and “transgender”. The Black AIDS Institute has been standing up, speaking out and fighting for the most vulnerable among us, including our transgender brothers and sisters. We have and will continue to fight for an inclusive science- and evidence-based HIV/AIDS response that celebrates diversity.
In this issue, we report on the Institute’s latest Brown Bag Lunch Webinar, which educated participants about the toll sexually transmitted infections are taking upon Black communities. Alabama is the first of a number of states likely to drop health-insurance coverage for children, following Congress’ failure to reapprove and fund the Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP) this fall. Our friends at Kaiser Health News reports on that state’s efforts to keep kids covered, as well as the discrimination experienced by sickle cell patients. Most Americans with sickle cell are Black.
This fall, BTAN Birmingham conducted outreach at the Magic City Football Classic. We report. And finally, the impact of the opioid epidemic is clearly trickling down to babies. Wisconsin has seen a near doubling of pregnant women on Medicaid who have the hepatitis C virus. The implication being that fetuses are being exposed to the virus in the womb and mothers need to be educated about the potential of mother-to-child infection.
As we think about this season of giving and prepare for the New Year, please consider giving to the Black AIDS Institute. We have never needed your support more. To make a year-end tax-deductible donation, please click here.
This is the last issue of the Back AIDS weekly for 2017. We will be back on January 9, 2018.
Have a happy holiday and please take care of yourself and your blessings.
Yours in the struggle,