Advertisement
The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
Read Now: TheBodyPRO.com Covers AIDS 2014
  
  • Email Email
  • Comments Comments
  • Printable Single-Page Print-Friendly
  • Glossary Glossary

Observing National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

March 16, 2011

National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

This Sunday, March 20th, the Indian Health Service (IHS) joins American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities, Native Hawaiian communities, and the nation in observing the fifth National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Originally coordinated by Tribal organizations across the country, recognition of this day has been adopted by native and non-native communities throughout the country as an opportunity to:

  • raise local HIV awareness
  • educate others about HIV prevention and testing
  • improve the health and future of AI/AN communities

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released an updated report on HIV/AIDS in the United States. This report shows that AI/AN people diagnosed with HIV or AIDS continue to experience a shorter life span than other Americans living with HIV or AIDS.

These numbers are not just statistics. They represent our friends, neighbors, and families. Every AI/AN person whose life is threatened, shortened, or harmed by HIV is one of us. The IHS mission to raise the physical, mental, social, and spiritual health of American Indians and Alaska Natives to the highest level requires that we partner with communities to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Advertisement

It is through local partnerships that IHS has been able to develop and support an expanded HIV testing initiative that links programs to training, resources, policy, and a growing network of other implementers. Expanded testing and early diagnosis, allow us to improve the health of individuals living with HIV/AIDS by providing the best available treatment as soon as possible. It also can strengthen local HIV education efforts by beginning conversations about preventing new infections.

The focus of all our partnerships is to prevent the spread of HIV and help those who are living with HIV. This includes our collaborative work with Federal colleagues in implementing the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. Building on the President's call to action in the Strategy, enhanced coordination and leveraging of information and resources is occurring nationwide.

Although we have made significant progress thus far, much more work needs to be done. I sincerely hope that the community observances of this day result in 364 more days of increased awareness and HIV testing, reduction of stigma, and, ultimately, the elimination of new infections as well as support for people living with HIV or AIDS and their families. I urge you to use this day to reach out in your community and enhance its celebration of life.

For more information about HIV and AIDS and available resources, please visit the IHS HIV/AIDS program website and AIDS.gov. If you're on Twitter, don't forget to use the hashtag #NNHAAD for all of your tweets around this observance.

RADM Scott Giberson, M.P.H., is a national HIV/AIDS principal consultant for the Indian Health Service.



  
  • Email Email
  • Comments Comments
  • Printable Single-Page Print-Friendly
  • Glossary Glossary

This article was provided by AIDS.gov.
 
See Also
Native Americans & HIV/AIDS

No comments have been made.
 

Add Your Comment:
(Please note: Your name and comment will be public, and may even show up in
Internet search results. Be careful when providing personal information! Before
adding your comment, please read TheBody.com's Comment Policy.)

Your Name:


Your Location:

(ex: San Francisco, CA)

Your Comment:

Characters remaining:

Tools
 

Advertisement