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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

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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.





This article was provided by TheBody.com.

See Also
History's Biggest HIV-Positive Celebrities
More on Celebrities and HIV/AIDS


Reader Comments:

Comment by: Peter (Atlanta,Georgia.) Sat., Dec. 28, 2013 at 12:37 pm EST
The Comment Marvelyn Brown made was really quite stupid. She initially thought only Gay Men and Africans were susceptible or at risk for HIV. Ignorance.
My problem with her and many others is that African Americans see themselves as superior and different from Africans just because they were born in America. If HIV doesn't kill you, Ignorance will.
And what is it about Africans that makes them more at risk.... same thing ignorance and poverty. We Blacks in America are just as vulnerable as African Blacks.
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Comment by: AnAppealToCommonSense (USA) Fri., Feb. 15, 2013 at 4:06 am EST
Hi. I don't think Nelson Mandela should be included in this list. While his struggle against apartheid was admirable and he had an enormous task of uniting the nation once elected, one of the biggest problems of his presidency was ignoring the growing HIV/AIDS epidemic in South Africa. If you're going to include a former or current African president, Dr. Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia is a better choice, as he was the first to publicly admit to his son having died of AIDS and has been involved in HIV/AIDS work since. I'd say Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, too, but his recent stances on condoms and homosexuality are negating his past leadership (Kaunda, along with Festus Mogae, back gay rights). And I'd also say that 46664 is nowhere near as important as the work Zachie Achmat with Treatment Action Campaign (I know he's considered "colored" in SA, so I'm thinking he must have some black ancestry) or the late Winston Zulu in Zambia, both widely known HIV/AIDS activists. If this is only about Black Americans, then why is Nelson Mandela included? Again, I admire the man for much of his work, but he's already received enough accolades, and his inclusion comes at the expense of others who are more deserving of praise in this topic.
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