A Black AIDS Institute Report
December 1, 1999
In 1998, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) asked the Secretary of Health and Human Services to call a “State of Emergency” regarding AIDS in African American communities. In response to that “State of Emergency,” dozens of African American AIDS activists, educators, and health professionals have joined forces with other African American leaders and institutions to develop a strategic action plan to stop HIV/AIDS in our communities.
The NIA Plan is the fruit of their labor.
The NIA Plan builds on the work of previous HIV/AIDS initiatives, but it recognizes that any comprehensive solution to the AIDS crisis must be indigenously based.
Thus, we hope the NIA Plan will empower and encourage African American communities in their efforts to address the rising epidemic of HIV/AIDS in our neighborhoods and our homes.
Although the NIA Plan was born out of the CBC initiative, its growth has come from a process of listening–listening to people already infected and those not infected, listening to African American leaders and everyday people. We’ve attempted to document what we heard. This plan comes from us. It speaks our language and it attempts to deal with our realities.
The purpose of The Plan is to develop definable tasks and measurable goals and objectives for community stakeholders. The NIA Plan identifies discrete recommendations on how HIV/AIDS can be addressed, but we also hope to spark a national dialogue on how to increase the number of people treated and reduce the number of African Americans becoming infected.
This is a living document. It is not meant to be an exhaustive manifesto. Take from the document what you will and contribute to the battle what you can. As an African American living with AIDS, I salute you for picking up the gauntlet by picking up this Plan.
Like many people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, I am tired of watching my community decimated by this menace. We are running out of time.
The agenda is full, the task is great and the time is short. But together we will prevail.
Yours in the Struggle,
Black AIDS Institute