HIV Elimination, Black Gay Men, and Community Involvement
Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus is excited to help lead Illinois’s effort in getting to zero new infections and zero detectability.
Together with our colleagues, we realize the moral imperative of taking action today. Health can’t wait.
Since the beginning of the HIV epidemic, gay men of all races have been hounded by a disease that threatened to derail our lives. And while our city and state have made great strides in curbing HIV over the last decade, current data tells us that 1 in 2 Black gay men will contract HIV in our lifetime. I continue to see men in my community diagnosed on a daily basis.
This is an unacceptable crisis.
However, recent years have blessed us with new tools, like Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and testing technology that can detect acute infection (giving us the opportunity to link someone into care at the beginning of their infection, when it can make the most difference).
We also have new scientific revelations, like Treatment as Prevention and Undetectable=Untransmittable, which together tell us that achieving an undetectable viral load is in the best health interests of not only our clients but their intimate partners. Our friends, family, and loved ones deserve access to these tools and knowledge.
We have a new opportunity to stop this epidemic in its tracks and ensure that every hard-working member of our Chicago community achieves the health they deserve.
Of course, as leaders we are merely conduits to ensure that the voices, perspectives, and expertise of our communities are brought to bear on this work. How many of us have been dreaming of an end to this war with HIV? How many of us have clients who tell us every day about the things that get in the way of their health? How many of us have been directly impacted by HIV and know that having a living-wage job or affordable housing had a part to play in that?
You have the ideas that will become winning strategies. Therefore, we are creating regular and frequent opportunities for you, the community, to join in this work. From forums to webinars, interviews to online chats. We will work hard to get to you and keep a seat for you at the table.
So join us and let’s work together to Eliminate HIV, Achieve an AIDS-Free Generation, and Get to Zero!