Leading Black America to the End of the Epidemic

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“From community advocacy that led to the first HIV Community Planning guidance of 1993 to Black leaders mobilizing and fighting for the creation of the 1998 Minority AIDS Initiative, Black leadership and communities have been present in the fight against HIV/AIDS,” says Raniyah Copeland, President and CEO of the Black AIDS Institute (BAI).  “Now achieving the goal of ending HIV by 2030 will not happen without the voices, the leadership, and the mobilizing of Black America.”

In the President’s State of the Union back in February, he claimed that his budget will ask for funding to end the AIDS epidemic within the United States within 10 years. “If President Trump is serious about his promise to end the AIDS epidemic in the US by 2030, the clear path forward entails policies that are grounded in science, address the health disparities that persist, and center leadership from communities most impacted by HIV…This is the only way to end HIV and AIDS,” says Copeland.

Later this summer BAI will launch its comprehensive plan on ETE that that includes medical systemic, and cultural strategies to guide Black communities to the end of HIV. One of the major parts of the plan include working with local and state health departments to ensure that engagement occurs in Black communities.

Initiatives of Trump’s strategy are beginning to roll out across the country.  BAI will be monitoring ETE activities to ensure Black leadership and organizations are included in every phase of planning, program design, implementation, and evaluation.

Founded in May of 1999, the BAI is the only national HIV/AIDS think tank focused exclusively on Black people. The Institute’s mission is to stop the AIDS epidemic in Black communities by engaging and mobilizing Black leaders, institutions, and individuals, in efforts to confront HIV. BAI disseminates information, advocates for sound, inclusive, culturally responsive public and private sector health policies, offers training and capacity building, provides health screening and linkage for HIV/STI/Hep C and other chronic and/or infectious diseases, and conducts advocacy and mobilization from a uniquely and unapologetically Black point of view.

*Hygh is the Senior Communications Manager for the Black AIDS Institute.