National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
National Native HIV/Aids Awareness Day is a national community mobilization effort that’s designed to encourage Native Indians, Hawaiians, and Alaskan Natives to get tested and educated about HIV, as well as to encourage them to get involved in HIV prevention.
This day is observed on March 20th each year and also serves as a way to spotlight the work that’s being done in Native communities and to end the stigma of HIV in these communities so that people can prevent, test for, and get treatment for this disease. In 2016, approximately 1% of the 39,700+ HIV diagnoses in the United States were among Alaskan Natives and Native Indians.
The History Of National Native HIV/Aids Awareness Day
The National Native CBA Network would present a resolution to the National Congress of American Indians in 2006. This resolution outlined the importance of a National Native HIV/Awareness Day and it was quickly approved. In 2007, the first observance for this mobilization effort occurred and it’s been observed in March ever since.
Facts About HIV among Native Americans
Below are some facts about HIV among Native American populations in the United States. Hopefully, the following stats will remind everyone how important it is to be educated about HIV, to be regularly tested, and for people to take preventative measures against the disease.
- Between 2012 and 2016, there was a 34% increase in HIV diagnoses among Alaskan Natives and American Indians.
- Between 2012 and 2016, there has been a 58% increase in HIV diagnoses among gay and bisexual men in Alaskan Native and American Indian communities.
- It’s been shown since 2019 that Pre-Expose Prophylaxis, also known as PrEP can reduce the risk of HIV infection through sex by as much as 97%.
Observing National Native HIV/Aids Awareness Day
On this day, several different organizations come together to promote the importance of HIV/AIDS awareness and the need for prevention and regular testing.
These organizations include the Centers for Disease Control, and the National Native Capacity Building Assistance Network, among others. People also use the hashtag #NativeHIVAIDSAwarenessDay to spread the word about this holiday on social media.