Black Gay Leaders Call on HHS Secretary to Show "Our Lives Matter"

Published: September 19, 2013

Washington, September 19, 2013 — The National Black Gay Men’s Advocacy Coalition (NBGMAC) and numerous Black gay community leaders today called for the Secretary of Health and Human Services to accelerate the response to the HIV epidemic among Black gay men.  

In a letter to the Secretary and in public comments to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) meeting in Washington, members of the coalition’s executive committee expressed concern about resistance from HHS officials to allocate resources or develop a more robust programmatic response to the increasing rate of HIV infections among Black gay men.  
“The anticipated implementation of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy based on scientific evidence and sound epidemiological data is falling dangerously short,” said Ernest Hopkins, NBGMAC’s chair. “We need the secretary to take action now or we will not achieve an AIDS-free generation.”
The letter goes on to state:  “In 2011 on World AIDS Day, President Obama said that “the lives of Black gay men matter.” That profoundly important statement signaled to Black gay men that the Obama Administration would demonstrate the truth of the statement through its actions.  Unfortunately, the department has not evidenced a swift resolve to redirect and apply scarce resources to the populations most impacted by the epidemic, especially Black gay men.”
At its meeting in September 2011, PACHA passed a resolution on addressing the health disparity of HIV among Black gay men.  NBGMAC express strong support for its implementation.  On September 19, NBGMAC will hold a follow-up session to review follow-up actions to the resolution with federal agencies and a community representative.  The meeting will convene at 9 a.m. in the Hubert H Humphrey Building, 200 Independence Avenue, SW in Washington, DC.
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