Here are some ways you can recognize National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, whether you're a part of the black community or not:
- Get tested. The simplest, most effective way to fight the spread of HIV is to know your own status. If each of us knows our own status, we can reduce the rising cases of those who spread the virus without even knowing they have it. Find a testing site here.
- Attend an event. There are events happening throughout the country to honor Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, to support those who are living with HIV or AIDS and to hear from community leaders who are making a difference in the fight against AIDS. San Francisco is having a march and a candlelight vigil. Visit the NBHAAD website to find out about events in your area.
- Create or appreciate some art related to the cause. You know I'm all about how we can get art or poetry involved. Here are some options. Check out Visual AIDS: A Gallery of Art by HIV-positive African-Americans. As far as film goes, you can watch this trailer for "All of Us," a documentary on HIV and AIDS among black women. And for literature, read Fingernails Across the Chalkboard: Poetry and Prose on HIV/AIDS from the Black Diaspora (my favorite note: it includes the work of local Living Room Reading Series veteran Arisa White!). Or create your own art. Take a few moments to consider the role HIV and AIDS play in your world. What can you create to fight back? This work can be just for you, but remember the impact it can have when others see it. Let's begin discussions, build momentum, and never lose another life to lack of awareness.