By Richard Torres, MD, MPH, FACP, AAHIVM
Associate Medical Director of Community and Public Health

Today marks the 22nd Annual National HIV Black Awareness Day (NBHAAD). This day of observance is an opportunity to increase HIV education, testing, community involvement, and treatment among black and African-American communities.

The 2021 theme is “We’re in This Together,” and aims to empower communities, partners, and healthcare providers to reduce HIV stigma and promote prevention, testing and treatment among all people in the United States.

The most recent data among African Americans shows that among New HIV diagnoses, MSM (men who have sex with men) accounted for 79% of the cases in men; and in women, heterosexual transmission accounted for 92% of the cases. Moreover, compared to other groups, Black/African American Gay and Bisexual Men had the highest number of new HIV diagnosis. And, although from 2014 to 2018, HIV diagnoses decreased 7% among Black/African American people overall, one group—Black/African American people aged 25 to 34—saw a 7% increase.

Therefore, 2021 National Black Awareness Day should highlight the importance of increasing education in these most vulnerable groups and remembering all those who have passed from this pandemic which is in its 5th decade.

At Urban Health Plan, Inc., we are committed to addressing HIV in our Black communities. On February 7, we acknowledge the devastating consequences that HIV has had and we will continue our dedication to ending the pandemic. We offer comprehensive HIV testing, education, prevention and treatment at all our locations throughout New York. Talk with your provider about getting tested. To make an appointment about getting tested, call our appointment line at 718-589-4755.