Black LGBT Health & Wellness Initiative
In 2014, the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) launched its Black LGBT Health and Wellness Initiative to intentionally place attention on Black LGBT health and wellness and to ensure these issues become part of the national LGBT-equality agenda. With the anchor funding of support from the Elton John AIDS Foundation, NBJC created the initiative to address current health crises and disparities in culturally competent wellness programs that target the Black LGBT population. In addition, the initiative works to confront stigma and shame within the Black family, and to raise awareness and combat the health crises impacting the Black LGBT community, including the HIV/AIDS epidemic. In 2016, NBJC will focus on the following major projects under the initiative:
HBCUs represent one of the largest collective populations of back people in the country—with more than 300,000 black students in the HBCU system. HBCUs are a critical place for the awareness and expansion of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis or PrEP—a method of providing another layer of protection to those who are at-risk for HIV and has proven to dramatically reduce new HIV infections. Black gay/bisexual men and transgender women continue to be the most impacted demographic in the domestic HIV epidemic. As HBCUs provide education to a vast number of this population, it is essential that they have the knowledge and access to tools like PrEP to combat the epidemic. In 2016, NBJC will collaborate with NAESM, Inc. and travel to HBCUs in Washington, DC, and five southern states—Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, and Texas—in order to educate students, administrators and health care providers about PrEP as a tool to fight HIV in the black community. Other campuses and demographics of the black community will be educated by instituting an interactive PrEP education social media campaign. Both NBJC and NAESM will use their national conferences to also incorporate PrEP education opportunities for community leaders in order to replicate and be innovative in the development of their PrEP community outreach and education efforts.
PACT: Partnering and Communicating Together to Act Against AIDS
NBJC will utilize its established national reach through its social media platforms, grassroots networks and collaborative partnerships in order to support the CDC’s new program, PACT: Partnering and Communicating Together to Act Against AIDS, to disseminate HIV prevention messaging and communication within Black communities—particularly among gay/bisexual men and transgender women. NBJC’s efforts will support the implementation of High-Impact Prevention (HIP) that advance the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, and maximize the effectiveness and reach of CDC’s Act against AIDS campaigns and other HIV prevention messaging.