About the Black AIDS Institute
The Black AIDS Institute, founded in 1999, is the only national HIV/AIDS think tank in the United States focused exclusively on Black people. The Institute's mission is to stop the AIDS pandemic in Black communities by engaging and mobilizing Black leaders, institutions and individuals in efforts to confront HIV. The Institute conducts HIV policy research, interprets public and private sector HIV policies, conducts trainings, builds capacity, disseminates information, and provides advocacy and mobilization from a uniquely and unapologetically Black point of view.
What We Do
- The Institute develops and disseminates information on HIV/AIDS policy. Our first major publication was the NIA Plan, which launched a national campaign to stop HIV/AIDS in African American communities by formulating and disseminating policy proposals developed through collaboration with federal, state and local government agencies, universities, community-based organizations, healthcare providers, opinion shapers and "gatekeepers."
- The African American HIV University, the Institute's flagship training program, is a fellowship program designed to increase the quantity and quality of HIV education in Black communities by training and supporting peer educators of African descent. AAHU's treatment and science college trains Black people in the science of HIV/AIDS. We believe when people understand the science of AIDS, they are better equipped to protect themselves from the virus, less likely to stigmatize those living with the disease or at risk of infection, better able to adhere to treatment and advocate for care, and better positioned to influence public and private HIV/AIDS polices. The Prevention and Mobilization College prepares Black AIDS workers to engage and mobilize traditional Black institutions in efforts to confront HIV/AIDS and increase utilization of HIV prevention services in their communities.
- The International Community Treatment and Science Workshop is a training and mentoring program to help people who are living with HIV/AIDS or who are working with community-based and nongovernmental AIDS organizations to meaningfully access information presented at scientific meetings.
- The Drum Beat is the Institute's Black media project designed to train Black media on how to report accurately on HIV/AIDS and tell the stories of those infected and affected. The Black Media Task Force on AIDS, a component of the Drum Beat Project, currently has over 1500 Black media members.
- The Institute publishes original editorial materials on the Black AIDS epidemic. Our flagship publication is our "State of AIDS in Black America" series. In the past few years, the institute has published reports on Black women, Black youth, Black gay and bisexual men and treatment in Black America. Our website www.BlackAIDS.org attracts nearly 100,000 hits a month. And our weekly AIDS updates currently have over 35,000 subscribers. The Drum Beat newspaper is a semi-annual tabloid with a distribution of 300,000. It is distributed to Black conventions, barbershops, beauty parlors, bookstores and doctors' offices. The Institute's newest publication is Ledge, a magazine produced by and for Black college students and distributed on the campuses of historically Black colleges and universities around the country.
- Heroes in the Struggle is a photographic tribute to the work of Black warriors in the fight against AIDS. Featuring elected officials and other policy makers, leading Black clergy, celebrities and entertainers, journalists, caregivers, advocates and people living with HIV/AIDS, HITS travels to Black universities, museums and community-based organizations throughout the United States, providing information on HIV/AIDS, raising awareness and generating community dialogues about what Black people are doing and what we need to do to end the AIDS epidemic in our communities.
- The Black AIDS Institute and BET, in association with the Kaiser Family Foundation, also sponsors the Rap-It-Up Black AIDS Short-Subject Film Competition to highlight the issue of AIDS and HIV infection within the African American community. By showcasing examples of heroism from within Black communities, we can galvanize African Americans to refocus and recommit to overcoming this epidemic.
- The Institute provides technical assistance to traditional African American institutions, elected officials and churches who are interested in developing effective HIV/AIDS programs, and to AIDS organizations that would like to work more effectively with traditional African American institutions.
Finally, nearly 30,000 people participated in AIDS updates, town hall meetings or community organizing forums sponsored by the Institute annually.
- Leaders in the Fight to Eradicate AIDS (LifeAIDS) is a national Black student membership organization created to mobilize Black college students around HIV/AIDS. LifeAIDS sponsors a national Black Student Teach-In and publishes Ledge, the only national AIDS magazine written, edited and published by Black students. Founded in 2004, LifeAIDS is the nation's only AIDS organization created by Black college students to mobilize Black college students to end the AIDS epidemic in Black communities. LifeAIDS has a presence on more than 70 college campuses nationwide.
The National Black AIDS Mobilization is an unprecedented five year multi-sector collaboration between all three national Black AIDS organizations in the United States (The Balm in Gilead, the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS and the Black AIDS Institute) with a goal of ending the AIDS epidemic in Black America by 2012.
BAM seeks to build a new sense of urgency in Black America, so that no one accepts the idea that the presence of HIV and AIDS is inevitable. The campaign calls on traditional Black institutions, leaders and individuals to actions toward ending the AIDS epidemic in Black America.
The project has four key objectives: cut HIV rates in Black America, increase the percentage of Black Americans who know their HIV status, increase Black utilization of HIV treatment and care, and decrease HIV/AIDS stigma in Black communities.
BAM does this in two ways: identifying and recruiting traditional Black institutions and leaders, and providing Black leaders and institutions with the skills and capacity to develop strategic action plans for themselves and/or their organizations.
The Test 1 Million campaign is a two-year effort to screen one million people for HIV by December 1, 2008. The campaign began with a celebrity-studded press conference in collaboration with SAG and AFTRA at the Screen Actors Guild. Other events include an Oakland-to-Los Angeles run where people will be tested along the California coast run route and a national "get free concert tickets in return for taking an HIV test" program in partnership with leading R&B and hip-hop artists.
Black leaders gather at XVI International AIDS Conference in Toronto in August 2006.