National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is to continue to bring awareness and uplift the voices of Native communities impacted by HIV and AIDS. According to the CDC, approximately 14% of the 1.2 million US residents with HIV don’t know that they have it. And within Native American/Alaskan Native communities that number is 19%. Among Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, that number is 25%.
March 20th is a day of awareness in the Native community to ensure that those percentages don’t go up! Please get tested if you haven’t already; and if you have, keep getting tested to make sure that you know your status.
“STIGMA SURROUNDING HIV TESTING AND THE FEAR OF DISCLOSURE OF HIV STATUS IS HURTING OUR PEOPLE. STIGMA KEEPS US SILENT AND THAT SILENCE CAN KILL US. WE CAN CHANGE THIS! WE MUST SUPPORT OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS WHO ARE HIV POSITIVE AND WE MUST SPEAK LOUDLY ABOUT LIVING HEALTHY” – Stefan Lessard, Mohawk Native, Musician in The Dave Matthews Band
For more information, visit NNHAAD.org.
Written by Ivonne Quiroz, Policy & Advocacy Manager, WORLD