Young. Black. Gay. Why I “Speak Out” against HIV and Stigma

By Devin Hursey, NASTAD Youth Ambassador

Devin HurseyIn recognition of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD) and Black History Month, NASTAD created a blog series to highlight voices within the Black community which often may remain silent, go unheard and are currently bearing the burden of the HIV epidemic: Black gay men/MSM, young Black gay men/MSM, members of the Black transgender community and Black women. We hope this blog series will serve as a springboard for even richer conversations and bring true awareness to National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. The previous blog posts in the series can be found below:

Silence, according to my childhood pastor, was always regarded as golden; resting on the idea that through silence one learns discipline and obedience, true pillars of a good Christian. I remember this message being preached from the pulpit, bellowed by my beloved pastor to the people in the congregation, my community. Continue reading

I Have My Protection—And It’s Not a Condom

By Blake Rowley, Manager, Health Equity & Prevention, NASTAD

Originally published by The Black AIDS Institute

Blake Rowley

Blake Rowley

Like most other Black men, I have had extremely inconsistent engagement with healthcare. If I’m not sick, why go? Until recently, the only time I really cared to access any type of care was when I was getting tested for HIV and other STIs.

In 2012, while conducting research at Fenway Health, I learned that multiple studies were trying to assess how effective taking one pill, once a day, would be at preventing HIV infection. My colleagues and I would joke about taking this pill once it became available, if it was successful. And then “BOOM,” there it was—a one-a-day pill that could prevent HIV by close to 100 percent. Continue reading

NASTAD Botswana Featured in AllAfrica

The content of this post originally appeared in AllAfrica in January 2015.

Botswana: Balosang Preaches DMSAC Message

By Eric Raphuti

Hukuntsi — Insufficient knowledge about roles and responsibilities of District Multi-Sectoral AIDS Committee (DMSAC) among relevant stakeholders is a stumbling block to execution of its mandate, says Ms Matsae Balosang, a country manager of National Alliance of State & Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD).

Continue reading

Silence Isn’t Safety: Bringing True Awareness to National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

By Justin T. Rush, Nicholas A. Rango Fellow, NASTAD

As the Nicholas A. Rango Fellow at the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD), I have the fortunate and unique opportunity to provide technical assistance to 12 health department jurisdictions on what each can be doing to respond to the high HIV incidence among Black gay men and men who have sex with men (MSM) within their localities. This means that, as it pertains to addressing the needs of Black gay men/MSM, I play a pivotal role at NASTAD in assisting state health departments with meeting those needs. Admittedly, being seen as the “go to” for Black gay men’s issues can be a bit daunting. So when I was tasked with kicking off this blog series focused on highlighting National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, I had to take a step back and reflect. I had to ask myself: With an awareness day for seemingly every day of every year, what could we do to truly have an impact on HIV within the Black community? Continue reading

NASTAD at NAESM 2015: Why the Lives of Black Men Who Have Sex With Men Still Matter for Many

By Drew Daniels, Manager, Communications, NASTAD

More than 400 public health professionals, researchers and community advocates from all across the United States attended the National African American MSM Leadership Conference on HIV/AIDS and other Health Disparities sponsored by National AIDS & Education Service for Minorities (NAESM) in Atlanta, January 15-18, 2015.  With recent current events surrounding police brutality and racism, this year’s theme was “Leading the Movement: Pursuing Health Equity through Social Justice.” The conference focused on how to address health equity and utilize social justice in order to meet the challenge of improving the health of Black men who have sex with men (MSM). Continue reading