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The Florida Department of Health Recognizes National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

By Communication Office

February 07, 2022

Today is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD), an annual observance effort to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS prevention, care, and treatment in communities of color nationwide. The first National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day was marked in 1999, and this is the twenty-third year NBHAAD has been recognized.

“There are many issues that impact individual and community health—it doesn’t exist in a vacuum. As we keep working to end new HIV transmission in Florida, we must continue to address many critical factors that create barriers in our communities,” said State Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo. “This includes improving access to PrEP—pre-exposure prophylaxis, a proven prevention tool—in all of our vulnerable communities, especially our Black and other minority communities in Florida.”

Ending HIV transmission in our state requires addressing risk factors and encouraging important conversations about HIV. Forty percent of the 3,504 Floridians who received an HIV diagnosis in 2020 were Black. It is crucial that people with HIV begin treatment as soon as possible upon diagnosis.

Regular HIV care includes antiretroviral therapy (ART), which decreases HIV in the body. This decrease, called viral suppression, leads to better health outcomes. Immediate and maintained treatment with ART typically leads to long, healthy lives for people with HIV. It is also an effective method of HIV prevention. People living with HIV who take antiretroviral medication as prescribed and achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load cannot transmit HIV to their sexual partners.

The Department is also partnering with organizations throughout the state to observe NBHAAD. Check out our online events calendar to learn about what is going on in your area and how you can commemorate this national health observance day.

Knowing your HIV status protects you and your community. Visit KnowYourHIVStatus.com to learn more. You can also call the Florida HIV/AIDS Hotline at 1-800-FLA-AIDS, 1-800-545-SIDA (en Español), or 1-800-AIDS-101 (in Creole) for more information.

More About HIV Prevention and Treatment

Recently, the Department also launched a new partnership between the Florida AIDS Drug Assistance Program to provide uninsured clients expanded access to medications through a network of independent pharmacies and commercial pharmacy chains around the state.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of their routine health care. Individuals at higher risk should get tested more often.

About the Florida Department of Health

The Florida Department of Health, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

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