It’s no secret that when it comes to public health, minority groups are disproportionately affected by shortcomings in resources, outreach and access. That remains as true today as it was 30 years ago, as the HIV/AIDS epidemic swept through LGBTQ communities.
- Between 2008-2020 Black gay and bisexual men experienced a 14% decrease in new HIV infections. Comparatively, White gay and bisexual men experienced a 41% decrease.
- As of 2019, Black people make up 40% of people living with HIV despite being only 13% of the population.
- According to the CDC, Black men who have sex with men have 50% chance of contracting HIV within their lifetime compared to a 9% chance for white MSM and a 20% chance for Latino MSM
Let’s talk about what we can do about it!
HIV stigma drives fears of testing and disclosure about HIV status. Understanding that undetectable = untransmittable, meaning that those living with HIV who are virally suppressed cannot transmit the virus, is important. Using language that doesn’t stigmatize those living with HIV allows those at risk to feel more comfortable with testing, conversations about status and institutions.
While better educational resources in schools and other public sectors will be helpful; it takes a village. Sharing credible resources with those you know, and love is important. Let people know about free access to free PrEP (Truvada or Descovy)! Promote testing centers you use! It can be more effective than you know!
Our goal of an HIV/AIDS free generation is within reach! We wouldn’t have gotten this far without a strong sense of community. Working together to break down barriers to access to free PrEP is how we’ll make the progress we need. The fight for our future starts today!
PrEP remains one of the most effective methods of HIV prevention we have. Taking Truvada and Descovy and letting others know about free PrEP online resources will help us prepare for the future.