Jason Howard Green

Jason Howard Green

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Black Gay Men Catch HIV Too!

This week the Obama administration announced plans to launch a new campaign designed to remind Americans that HIV/ AIDS is still around. The apparent complacency that resides in far too many has caused us to no longer be concerned about the risks that are still present regarding infection. For some reason we don't think that HIV is a problem anymore. Well the truth is there are 56,000 new infections in the US every year. Translation - someone gets infected with HIV every nine and a half minutes.

While I'm pleased that the new administration is making this needed campaign. And I'm thrilled that they are committing 45 million dollars to this effort. I am a bit unsettled by the key players involved in creating this campaign. While there are black organizations that will be partners in the campaign; there are no black organizations that have an understanding of black gay or bisexual men that are involved.

Some of the black organizations on board include the NAACP, 100 Black Men of America, and the Congressional Black Caucus. But realistically, none of the groups know how to outreach to black gay men. Additional, some black organizations that should have a place at the table (ie the National Black Justice Coalition and the Black AIDS Institute) are not involved. Both of these national organizations currently have strong ties within the Black LGBT communties. However neither organization has been invited. I personally have a problem with that. While the organizers say that there will be more partners invited to come on board, I'm wondering why these agencies were invovled initially.

Black gay men still get infected with HIV. Black gay men are still dying from AIDS. So why do organizations that can reach Black gay and bisexual men not have a place at the table. I'm hoping this problem is resolved very soon. Learn more about this story here.

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