We The People: A Black Plan to End HIV in America

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In response to the Administration’s proposed 10 year plan to end the HIV epidemic in America, we have developed a more strategic plan entitled We The People: A Black Plan to End HIV In America. What makes this plan particularly unique is that it addresses a key component missing in Trump’s plan – a particular …

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Black Women Unite for Healthy Sex as Essence Celebrates 25th

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Black women from four organizations recently joined forces at Essence Festival in New Orleans for “Black Women United for Healhty Sex” a coalition comprised of: Black AIDS Institute (BAI), the National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC), Sister Love, Inc., and Iris House.  The group was sponsored at Essence by Gilead Sciences. “We are a coalition that …

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HIV Advocates Should Call for Closing the Camps

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Toward the end of July, HIV advocates received confirmation that Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officials have been using HIV status as a basis for family separation. CBP has since walked back their statement, claiming that the official misspoke. Many in the HIV community called for a commitment to ending the policy, as well as …

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Q&A with Black Women’s Ambassador Derinthia Williams

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Black AIDS Update recently spoke with Black Women’s Ambassador Derinthia Williams.  Williams works for Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) in Atlanta.   HOPWA is a federally funded HUD program that offers a variety of housing solutions and support services for low-income persons living with HIV/AIDS. Black AIDS Update (BAU): Tell me about your work? …

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Despite Public Health Crisis, California Budget Includes Limited Investments in HIV, HCV, STDs

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Over 150 organizations continue to call on Governor Newsom to fulfill a key campaign promise to launch a statewide initiative to end these epidemics The 2019-2020 Budget signed today by Governor Newsom includes limited investments in HIV, hepatitis C (HCV), and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), despite an escalating public health crisis impacting the state’s most vulnerable …

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Coleman Returns to BAI

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The Black AIDS Institute (BAI) has a new Behavioral Intervention Coordinator, David Coleman.  However, David is no stranger to BAI. He is returning after a nine month hiatus and has previously served as one of BAI’s Health Education Specialist. “I am drawn to fight the HIV epidemic in Black communities because when I got in …

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Kujichagulia Corner 7-2-19

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This week I’ll once again journey to New Orleans for the Essence Festival.  This year marks the 25th Anniversary of this gathering celebrating Black women with one of this year’s headliners being our Forever First Lady, Michelle Obama. Essence Festival is the largest gathering of Black women in the country and I’m ready to celebrate …

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Court Grants Judgement to HIV-Positive Man Denied Haircut at LA Barbershop

Posted in: News

California District Court Grants Judgment to HIV-Positive Man Denied Haircut at Los Angeles Barbershop Lambda Legal and Black AIDS Institute Cut the Stigma Campaign Kickoff Summer 2019 (Los Angeles, June 4, 2019) – Today, Lambda Legal announced the Central District of California entered judgment for Nikko Briteramos against the owner of a Los Angeles barbershop …

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Kujichagulia Corner 6-4-19

Posted in: News

It’s Pride Month! The month of June was chosen as LGBT Pride Month to commemorate the Stonewall Uprising, which occurred at the end of June 1969. At the Stonewall Inn in New York City, trans and queer people, many of whom were of color, resisted police harassment. This event galvanized many people to participate in a liberation movement for …

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Black AIDS Institute Celebrates 20th Anniversary

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LOS ANGELES—The Black AIDS Institute (BAI) is celebrating its 20th anniversary. BAI was incorporated on May 10, 1999 by Phill Wilson, after a life-threatening struggle with HIV, with inspiration from his best friend, the late Reggie Williams. Founded as a non-profit think tank focused on HIV/AIDS in the Black community, the organization initially launched as …

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Kujichagulia Corner 5-7-19

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This week, we will celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the founding of the Black AIDS Institute on Friday, May 10th. In 1999, after a life-threatening struggle with HIV, our founder Phill Wilson, along with his best friend, the late Reggie Williams founded a non-profit think tank focused on HIV/AIDS in the Black community. The organization …

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Toni Robinson Named Director of Development

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LOS ANGELES –The Black AIDS Institute (BAI) has named Tonica “Toni” Robinson as its Director of Development effective as of April 22.  “To be part of an organization that has a rich history in supporting healthcare disparities in the Black community is not only aligned with my personal belief system, it is an honor,” says …

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Bruce Smail Named Deputy Director

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LOS ANGELES—The Black AIDS Institute (BAI) has named Bruce Smail as its Deputy Director effective as of April 1. “I have been positive since February 10, 2003.  Immediately after diagnosis, I wanted to incorporate HIV/AIDS in my advocacy,” says Smail.  “I am very excited to join the Black AIDS Institute family.” He added, “I know …

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Introducing the Black Women’s Ambassador Program*

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“I think Black women are lit. I think we’re amazing.” – BAI Ambassador Last week, amidst the revelry of Mardi Gras, a group of Black women traveled to New Orleans from communities as far as San Juan and Milwaukee to form the inaugural cohort of the Black Women’s Ambassador program. The mission of the Ambassador …

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Kujichagulia Corner

Posted in: News

It’s the last day of February which signals the end of Black history month. February is one of my favorite months of the year because everyone gets to revel in the beauty of our resiliency and the promise of our future. I’ve thought deeply about the history of BAI and where we want to go …

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My Brother’s Keeper Exemplifies Black Excellence

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“We pretty much operate in a collegial environment.  We have a shared responsibility. We operate together. We love each other together,” says Dr. June Gipson, President and CEO of the Jackson, Miss. based My Brother’s Keeper, Inc. (MBK), as she reflected on this year’s National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD) theme “Together For Love: Stop …

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One BAI Team Member’s Journey

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“I was a stigma pusher, but not anymore, obviously,” says Joshua Rodgers who joined the Black AIDS Institute (BAI) prevention and care team last November as an administrative program assistant.  Rodgers, who is living with HIV, came through the doors of BAI on September 5th of 2017 to get tested and access services.  He was …

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State of the Union Response

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In the President’s State of the Union Tuesday night, two days ahead of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD), he claimed that his budget will ask for funding to end the AIDS epidemic within the United States within 10 years. He framed this as a bipartisan, unifying effort, but, if he and his administration are …

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Let’s Stop HIV Together

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My favorite month of the year is February because it is an opportunity to celebrate and rejoice in the beauty and resiliency of Blackness. Fittingly, we annually commemorate February 7th with National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD).  This year’s NBHAAD theme is “Let’s Stop HIV Together” and in my new role as President & CEO …

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The Trump Administration has launched its latest attack against people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) – Fight Back

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The Trump Administration has launched its latest attack against people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) — and we need your help to fight back. The Trump Administration has proposed a rule to change “protected class status” under Medicare,  which allows PLHIV to have direct access to the best treatments as prescribed by their clinician. Over the …

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Kujichagulia Corner: From the President & CEO’s Desk

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Welcome to our first Black AIDS Update of the year! I proudly ushered in the New Year as the new President and Chief Executive Officer the Black AIDS Institute.  As we enter 2019, I am eager to build on the 20+ years of impactful work the Black AIDS Institute has done as a thought leader, …

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#ForOurOwnProtection aims to protect the lives of Black gay men

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*By Larry R. Hygh, Jr., Ed.D. The Black AIDS Institute (BAI) in partnership with the AMAAD Institute (Arming Minorities Against Addiction and Disease), Minority AIDS Project, and God’s Property recently hosted a community forum called #ForOurOwnProtection at BAI’s MacArthur Park office.  The forum’s goal was to create a community action plan to protect the lives …

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BAI ends 2018 with southern health department tours

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*By Larry R. Hygh, Jr.  “As a result of the technical assistance I received from Black AIDS Institute, I was able to coordinate a PrEP Summit specifically for Black women. The event was highly successful in recruiting Black women from all walks of life and not only increased the participants awareness of PrEP, but empowered …

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E-newsletter launches

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Welcome to the first edition of Black AIDS Update.  This e-newsletter is the beginning of an effort to streamline our communications efforts and news delivery about our organization’s happenings, and upcoming events. I began last September as the Senior Communications Manager for the Black AIDS Institute (BAI). I hit the ground running flying off to …

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Ambassador Program for Black Women

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The Black AIDS Institute, with support from Gilead Sciences, is excited to launch an Ambassador program for Black women to build engagement and movement around HIV and sexual health for Black women. This ambassador program will create a cohort of 20 Black cis and trans women, who are living with HIV and HIV-negative, who will …

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Black AIDS Institute Names New President & Chief Executive Officer

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Longtime staffer selected from among 20 candidates after national 10 month search LOS ANGELES—The Black AIDS Institute (BAI) has named Raniyah Copeland as its next President and Chief Executive Officer.  Copeland will assume the role on January 1.  Copeland began working at BAI in April of 2008 as the Training and Capacity Building Coordinator and …

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In This Issue

Posted in: News, News 2018

Many of you know over the last 18 months, the Black AIDS Institute (BAI) has engaged in a significant sector transformation. We have strengthened our Board, recruited new ambassadors, revamped our website, reformatted the Black AIDS Weekly, completed a 5-year strategic plan, announced a new strategic direction in preparation for a new generation of HIV/AIDS …

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Free, Competitive, and Important

Posted in: News, News 2018

HIV.gov reported about the His Health project in a recent blog and now offers an update on a training opportunity that can help the HIV community to reach and effectively serve the needs of Black men who have sex with men (BMSM) and transgender people. The His Health site offers care models, training modules, and …

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Medical Marijuana’s ‘Catch-22’: Federal Limits On Research Hinder Patients’ Relief

Posted in: News, News 2018

By the time Ann Marie Owen turned to marijuana to treat her pain, she was struggling to walk and talk. She also hallucinated. For four years, her doctor prescribed the 61-year-old a wide range of opioids for her transverse myelitis, a debilitating disease that caused pain, muscle weakness and paralysis. The drugs not only failed …

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Why does HIV Pose a Greater Threat to Women’s Hearts?

Posted in: News, News 2018

HIV-related heart disease is a leading cause of death among people living with HIV—even when they are on consistent, effective HIV treatment. Researchers are learning that this complication is likely brought on by chronic inflammation from the virus itself and other factors. What is less understood is why HIV seems to take a greater toll …

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Trump Proposes Cutting Planned Parenthood Funds. What Does That Mean?

Posted in: News, News 2018

The planned revival of a policy dating to Ronald Reagan’s presidency may finally present a way for President Donald Trump to fulfill his campaign promise to “defund” Planned Parenthood. Or at least to evict it from the federal family planning program, where it provides care to more than 40 percent of that program’s 4 million …

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Janet Mock Hopes ‘Pose’ Changes Hollywood for Trans POC Artists

Posted in: News, News 2018

Journalist and advocate Janet Mock added more roles to her résumé when she joined the crew of FX series “Pose” as a writer, director and producer. The series follows two concurrent developments in late-’80s Manhattan: the ball culture, primarily developed and celebrated by LGBTQ people of color, and new forms of ostentatious wealth, as epitomized by now-President Donald Trump. …

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In This Issue

Posted in: News, News 2018

This week, we are running a very important story critiquing the International AIDS Society’s selection of San Francisco and Oakland to host the 2020 International AIDS Conference. We hope you read about this debate, which is covered here by our friends at Kaiser Health News. While the Black AIDS Institute strongly supports the decision to …

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Jussie Smollett Announces “Sum of My Music Tour” to Support the Black Aids Institute

Posted in: News, News 2018

  Singer/songwriter/actor/director/producer/activist and Black AIDS Institute Board Member Jussie Smollett of Fox’s hit television series “Empire,” has announced a summer tour to support his debut full-length studio album release, Sum Of My Music.  The tour, titled Sum Of My Music Tour, debuted in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on April 20, 2018, and will span Europe …

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BTAN Maryland Spreads the Word About HIV Criminalization

Posted in: News, News 2018

As part of an ongoing effort to raise awareness about the impact the HIV/AIDS epidemic is having on Black lives, the Black Treatment Advocates Network (BTAN) in Maryland hosted the program “Exploring the Criminalization of HIV.” The AHF (AIDS Healthcare Foundation) and the Center for Black Excellence also contributed to the event. HIV/AIDS service providers, …

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Choice Of Bay Area For AIDS Conference Exposes Tension Among Activists

Posted in: News, News 2018

After George Ayala learned last month that San Francisco and Oakland had been chosen to co-host the International AIDS Conference in 2020, he quickly published a statement of disapproval. Ayala, an Oakland-based AIDS advocate, does not want the conference in his own city — or anywhere else in the United States, for that matter. His …

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State-level PrEP Utilization Data Now Available from AIDSVu

Posted in: News, News 2018

Since PrEP is one of the newer HIV prevention tools, understanding more about who is using it is important to better tailoring HIV prevention efforts at the national, state, and community levels. PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, is when people at high risk for HIV take HIV medicine daily to lower their chances of getting infected …

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Hidden Casualties Webinars Now Available

Posted in: News, News 2018

This year, OHAIDP has been focused on facilitating conversations about what a comprehensive response to the national opioid overdose crisis looks like and how the crisis is driving the spread of infectious diseases. We have engaged national organizations as well as federal, state, and community partners to showcase examples of the latest evidence and recommendations, …

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In This Issue

Posted in: News, News 2018

To continue to mark the Mother’s Day season and the contribution that women make to our lives, this week we run a number of stories highlighting women’s contribution and describing their lives. We start off with a profile of Saron Selassie, a member of the next generation of HIV professionals that is stepping into leadership …

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Prevention Is the Key 

Posted in: News, News 2018, Uncategorized

In February, the Black AIDS Institute made a crucial and substantial move. The organization opened a prevention clinic in Los Angeles, in partnership with St. John’s Well Child and Family Center (SJWCFC), to address the growing needs of those community members most at risk for HIV/AIDS. The clinic offers a wide range of services—including access to biomedical interventions like pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), non-occupational postexposure prophylaxis (nPEP) and treatment as prevention (TasP)—and linkage to other prevention support services.   But …

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BAI’s Saron Selassie: ‘I Hope to Contribute to . . . Ending the HIV Epidemic’

Posted in: News, News 2018

  Saron Selassie is very much aware of the social determinants that affect Black people’s physical and mental health. As part of the new generation of professionals at the Black AIDS Institute doing capacity-building, advocacy, mobilization and service-delivery work, she looks through an antidiscrimination lens, considering institutional racism as a fundamental cause of health disp …

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STUDY: Women of Color Living in Poverty Face Highest Risk of Eviction

Posted in: News, News 2018

A new report from Eviction Lab explores who is experiencing housing insecurity in the United States. Nearly one million American households received eviction notices in 2016, according to newly released data from a team of Princeton University researchers at Eviction Lab. On Saturday April 7, The New York Times reported on the research, which examines 83 million eviction records …

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In This Issue

Posted in: News, News 2018

Black AIDS Institute program coordinator Maya Merriweather is part of the next generation of professionals who have committed themselves to ending the HIV epidemic. We introduce you to her here and welcome her to our team. In conjunction with Emory University, the CDC has created a comprehensive database of public and private health care providers …

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BAI’s Maya Merriweather: ‘I Felt Called to Reach That Population’

Posted in: News, News 2018

Maya Merriweather, who is a program coordinator with the Black AIDS Institute’s mobilization team, is channeling a lifelong desire to help others by actively engaging in the fight against the spread of HIV among communities of color. At age 26, she has joined the next generation of HIV/AIDS activists and organizers focused on ending the …

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Comprehensive PrEP Provider Database and Locator Widget Now Available

Posted in: News, News 2018

Dear Colleague, CDC’s National Prevention Information Network (NPIN) and Emory University have integrated data to provide a comprehensive, national directory of health service providers in the U.S. that offer pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV infection. Emory’s Prep Locator , created and launched in 2016, is now powered and maintained by NPIN. The integrated database …

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Nation’s Top Doc Wants The Overdose Antidote Widely On Hand. Is That Feasible?

Posted in: News, News 2018

When Surgeon General Jerome Adams issued an advisory calling for more people to carry naloxone — not just people at overdose risk, but also friends and family — experts and advocates were almost giddy. This is an “unequivocally positive” step forward, said Leo Beletsky, an associate professor of law and health sciences at Northeastern University. …

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6 Black Feminists Speak Out About the Cosby Sexual Assault Conviction

Posted in: News, News 2018

In the moments after the Bill Cosby verdict, Colorlines asked six Black feminists to tell us how they felt about it. Here’s what Tarana Burke, Aishah Shahidah Simmons, Jamilah Lemieux, Salamishah Tillet, Ayana Byrd and Monifa Bandele shared. This afternoon (April 26) a Pennsylvania jury convicted comedian Bill Cosby of three counts of aggravated indecent assault against …

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