February 7, 2012 marks the 12th year for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD), a national community mobilization initiative that focuses on promoting HIV education, testing, involvement, and treatment to African Americans, who are disproportionately at risk for HIV/AIDS. As part of the Federal observance of NBHAAD, I spoke with three people who are helping to lead the response to HIV/AIDS in the African American community. They included:
- Dr. Kevin Fenton, Director, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention , at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Dr. Deborah Parham Hopson, Associate Administrator, HIV/AIDS Bureau, at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
- Mr. Ronald Johnson, Vice President of Policy and Advocacy, AIDS United.
Each of the interviewees had an opportunity to discuss how NBHAAD can make communities more effective in responding to HIV/AIDS.
I also sat down with Reverend Edwin Sanders, Senior Servant at the Metropolitan Interdenominational Church in Nashville, Tennessee to talk about the role of faith-based organizations in facing the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Reverend Sanders spoke about the importance of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy in the faith community and gave examples of how the faith community is using the NHAS.