Black AIDS Institute announces “30 Days of HIV” Campaign Leading to National HIV Testing Day
30 Days of HIV
The Black AIDS Institute, the only national HIV/AIDS think tank in the U.S. focused exclusively on Black communities, has announced a national, digital community campaign, “30 Days of HIV,” which will kick off on May 27, 2017, and conclude on National HIV Testing Day (NHTD), June 27.
The three core elements of the campaign are: an online national community calendar to promote HIV and health-related events serving Black communities, “In the Life,” an Instagram storytelling series featuring images of Black, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (GBTQ) and same-gender-loving (SGL) men that are often erased from the media, and daily actions to mobilize Black communities and those who serve them to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
“Even though it is not in the news to the extent it was a few years ago, HIV/AIDS is an ongoing and among some sectors, tragically growing crisis in Black communities,” says Phill Wilson, the Institute’s President and CEO. “Our house is still on fire and we seem to have become complacent. ‘30 Days of HIV’ is designed to shine a new spotlight on the problem, but more importantly on who we are and what we can do about it, if we focus.” According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in 2015, Black Americans accounted for 45 percent of HIV diagnoses, though they comprise just 12 percent of the population. Young, Black gay men are at greatest risk and stand a 50 percent risk of acquiring HIV during their lifetime. Black women represent 60 percent of new infections among women.
The “30 Days of HIV” campaign will increase awareness, fight stigma and shine a spotlight on the solutions to curb HIV in Black America.
The national online community calendar will feature HIV and health-related activities in Black communities during the 30 days leading up to NHTD. Organizations that have planned health fairs, HIV-testing, outreach, or other activities during this timeframe are invited to submit the events to firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion in the calendar.
Beginning on May 27, the Institute will highlight the resillience of Black GBTQ and SGL men through the “In The Life” campaign, as we turn the corner into June, when we mark Men’s Health and Gay Pride months. Each day, the Institute will publish on its Instagram feed photos and videos featuring the life experiences of Black GBTQ/SGL men, particularly visual narratives challenging stereotypes, portraying healthy lifestyle choices, and filling in the gaps in the visual imagery of the men’s lived experiences.
“It is an opportunity for everyone to see all the facets of what it means to be Black and male in America,” says Gerald Garth, the Institute’s Manager of Prevention and Care. “While HIV care, prevention, and education are a major part of the Black gay experience, there is so much more. Many of us are artists, thinkers, fathers, husbands. Our lived experiences extend well beyond the scope of HIV.”
Black GBTQ/SGL men who live in the United States are invited to submit two photos or videos less than 60 seconds long, along with a 100-word description of the images, whether a story, poem, narrative or rhyme, similar to the Instagram posts of photographer Ruddy Roye and Humans of New York. Images should reflect the everyday life and contributions of Black GBTQ/SGL men to society—from work life, to parenting, to healthy lifestyle choices, to taking HIV-fighting medications, to experiencing #BlackBoyJoy. “Many of us will tell stories of how HIV has impacted our lives, but I’m so excited that we will see the full spectrum of what it means to live Black and gay in America,” says Garth.
Photos, videos, descriptions and Instagram handles should be submitted to email@example.com. Participants don’t have to be living with HIV, and those living with HIV/AIDS can decide whether they mention their HIV status. The Black AIDS Institute reserves the right to edit to make sure all language is appropriate for our audiences.
Finally, during the “30 Days of HIV,” the Institute will publish daily actions via social media to mobilize Black communities to take care of their health and fight HIV/AIDS. Says Garth: “Each day of the month will provide a call to action that explores what it means to be a whole person and an advocate—from #SoulfulSunday, to #WellnessWednesday, to #ThrowbackThursday, when we will highlight those who have passed away. We’ll also encourage people to show what a relationship looks like—all types. The actions are a chance for us to stretch and redefine what it means to be an advocate.”
For more information contact Wendell Miller: 213.353.3610 ext. 105; Assistant@blackaids.org