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

ADAP Crisis Task Force Announces Groundbreaking Agreement with AbbVie for Hepatitis C Treatment Viekira Pak™

ADAP Crisis Task Force Announces Groundbreaking Agreement with AbbVie for Hepatitis C Treatment Viekira Pak 

Contact:  Britten Pund

AbbVieJanuary 15, 2015, Washington, DC – The ADAP Crisis Task Force (Task Force) has reached a new pricing agreement between AbbVie and AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs) for Viekira Pak (ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir tablets; dasabuvir tablets) for the treatment of hepatitis C (HCV). AbbVie is the first company to offer a discount on the ADAP price of an HCV medication in the era of new curative HCV treatments. The agreed-upon ADAP price for Viekira Pak, negotiated between the Task Force and AbbVie, reflects voluntary discounts and rebates that are significantly lower than the wholesale acquisition cost (WAC).  While many ADAPs may not be able to add Viekira Pak to their formularies due to fiscal constraints, this agreement recognizes the importance of access to hepatitis C medications for people living with HIV and demonstrates good faith that access at a discounted price may lead to formulary inclusion. ADAPs make individual decisions about adding new medications to their formularies. Continue reading