National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, Sept. 27
September 7, 2011 in Announcements
September 27th is the fourth annual National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NGMHAAD), spearheaded by National Association of People With AIDS. The theme is Save a Life, It May Be Your Own. Get Tested For HIV. NGMHAAD is a national campaign to raise awareness that the HIV epidemic is still a public health threat to gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM), who continue to be infected with HIV more than would be expected from their numbers alone.
This national campaign strives to draw attention to the unique challenges and issues that gay men/MSM confront. The goals for gay men include: The need to increase their sense of urgency about the HIV/AIDS epidemic among gay men/MSM; the need to reinvigorate their commitment to battling HIV/AIDS through prevention, detection, and care/treatment thirty years after into the epidemic and in the face of HIV/AIDS fatigue; to help them understand their risks for HIV infection and for them to stay abreast of prevention and medical advantages to help them protect themselves and others; the need to motivate them to seek HIV testing and, if they test positive, to seek care and treatment; and the need to enlist them in efforts to combat HIV stigma and homophobia.
The California Department of Public Health, Office of AIDS (OA) would like to emphasize the impact that HIV/AIDS continues to have on gay men/MSM and to encourage local, regional and national organizations to hold awareness activities on or around September 27th annually to increase the sense of urgency and stress the need for HIV/AIDS prevention, education and care/treatment targeted at gay men/MSM. OA recognizes and appreciates the ongoing commitment of providers who remain engaged in gay men/MSM-focused efforts.
Gay men/MSM account for three-quarters all of living HIV/AIDS cases in California. That’s over 90,000 gay men/MSM currently living with HIV/AIDS. In 2009 alone, just over 4,500 newly diagnosed cases were attributable to gay men/MSM, representing an overwhelming 70% of all new diagnoses.
In recognition NGMHAAD, OA urges gay men/MSM to become more aware about the risks of HIV, to get tested and, if positive, to seek medical and support services. Click here Service Referral Network to find a HIV test site and medical care facility near you. Click here National Association of People With AIDS for NGMHAAD event near you and relevant resources.