August 9, 2012
Photo: Venton Jones, HIV PJA Steering Committee Co-Chair, leads the call at the recent We Can End AIDS Mobilization in Washington, D.C.
Colleagues, Friends and Family,
I'm hoping you can take a few seconds and support a very important call to action. The National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC) is seeking both organization and individual endorsements for a call to action addressing the disparate impact of HIV among young gay and bisexual men in the United States.
Across race, age, and geography, gay and bisexual men remain most vulnerable to HIV infection in the United States. Gay and bisexual men are the only group of people in which new HIV infections are increasing each year. They represent only 2% of the US population, yet account for 64% of new infections. Young gay and bisexual men aged 13-29 comprise less than 1% of the US population, but account for 27% of all new infections. Black young men are especially hard hit by the AIDS epidemic, experiencing a shocking 48% increase in the number of new HIV infections between 2006 and 2009.
Despite alarming infection rates, the response to HIV/AIDS among young gay and bisexual men has never been adequate. Allocation of prevention, research, and other resources to focus on gay men overall or young men, in particular, has never been equal to their proportion of the epidemic. Negative experiences and other barriers to accessing health care have left too many young men estranged from the services and institutions that could support healthy sexual, physical, and emotional development. Family rejection, social isolation, homophobia, and absent legal protections have perpetuated a cycle of homelessness, unemployment, substance use, and poverty among the most vulnerable.
We can do something about this -- but, we need a broad mobilization to shine a spotlight on what needs to be done. Click here to endorse the Call to Action now.
I have already signed and I'm asking YOU to take a moment (less than 15 seconds) to show your support by SIGNING TODAY. After you sign, ask your networks to do the same by forwarding this e-mail or this link http://chn.ge/RdkOjc.
Thanks so much!
Venton Jones, MS
Co-Chair, HIV PJA Steering Committee
Communications and Education Manager, National Black Gay Men's Advocacy Coalition