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HIV/AIDS Resource Center for African Americans
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13 Moments in Black Celebrity HIV/AIDS Activism

February 7, 2013


Phill Wilson Jr.

Founding of the Black AIDS Institute (1999)

Founded in 1999 by activist Phill Wilson, Jr., the Black AIDS Institute's mission is to stop the AIDS pandemic in black communities by engaging and mobilizing black organizations and individuals. An activist in the HIV/AIDS fight for more than 30 years, Mr. Wilson remarks, "I used to say that I didn't believe I would live to see the end of this epidemic. I don't say that anymore. I believe that it is entirely possible that I will see the end of this epidemic, but we are at one of those deciding moments. Whether we end it now or not is totally up to us."

Black AIDS Institute counts many African-American celebrities, including actors Danny Glover and Hill Harper (also profiled here), among its supporters. The organization is behind some of the most recognizable HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns in communities of color. Its campaign Greater than AIDS creates videos, billboards and other eye-catching, affective media to reaffirm that idea that we all have a role to play in stopping the epidemic. The campaign asks people to be informed, speak openly, use protection, get tested and treated, and get involved in their communities.

Black AIDS Institute also operates the social networks LIFEAIDS, a network of black college students involved in campus-based HIV awareness efforts, and the Black Gay Men's Network. It also helps individuals and groups get involved through the African American HIV University (AAHU), a comprehensive training and capacity building fellowship program.

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