For the fourth year in a row, on March 20, many communities around our country will stop to observe National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NNHAAD). The National Native HIVAIDS Awareness Day Planning Committee comprised of representatives from Colorado State University’s Commitment to Action for 7th-Generation Awareness & Education: HIV/AIDS Prevention Project , the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona , and National Native American AIDS Prevention Center works year round to support local observance of this day and to call attention to the impact of the epidemic among Native American/Alaskan Native and Native Hawaiian people in our nation.
The Indian Health Service (IHS), an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services, is responsible for providing federal health services to American Indians and Alaska Natives. We asked Captain Scott Giberson of the Indian Health Service about the importance of National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Capt. Giberson told us that American Indians/Alaskan Natives have “the third highest rate of new infections of HIV/AIDS of any race or ethnicity in the U.S. population.” Check out the IHS website for more resources on responding to HIV/AIDS in American Indian/Alaskan Native communities, and make time on March 20th to respond to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in your communities.