March 20: Tuesday is National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

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March 20, 2012, marks the 6th annual observation of National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NNHAAD), an occasion to increase awareness of HIV/AIDS among American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders had the third highest rate of new HIV diagnoses in 2010, while American Indians and Alaska Natives had the fourth highest rate. American Indians and Alaska Natives also die sooner after diagnosis than other racial/ethnic groups, suggesting that they may be diagnosed later and have more limited access to health care.

NNHAAD was founded in 2007 by 3 collaborating agencies: Commitment to Action for 7th-Generation Awareness and Educations, Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc., and National Native American AIDS Prevention. The collaboration has since grown to include the Asian and Pacific Islander Wellness Center and Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board.

The goals of the day are to encourage Native people to learn more about HIV/AIDS and its impact in their community, encourage testing options and HIV counseling in Native communities, and help decrease the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.

For further information and resources:

3/20/12

Sources

National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day website. http://www.nnhaad.org.

AIDSinfo.org. National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. http://aidsinfo.nih.gov/education-materials/hiv-aids-awareness-days/150/national-native-hiv-aids-awareness-day.