National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

February 7th is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is observed annually to highlight the disproportionate burden of HIV among African-Americans. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), African-Americans accounted for 47% of persons who received an HIV diagnosis in 2012. A recent report published by the CDC found that the mortality rate among American Americans with HIV declined 28% between 2009-2012. Despite this progress, African American communities have higher HIV infection and mortality rates than any other groups. The 2012 rate is 47% higher than Latinos, and 13% higher than whites.

Here are resources, including many freely available factsheets, that you can use to learn about HIV/AIDS and its impact on Black communities.


Here are some titles we have in the Library (for more titles, search our catalog here)


  • AIDS and African Americans: A Guide for Substance Abuse, Sexuality, and Care, Pamela Blackwell Johnson
  • Ashamed to Die: Silence, Denial, and the AIDS Epidemic in the South, Andrew Skerritt
  • Beyond the Down Low: Sex, Lies, and Denial in Black America, Keith Boykin
  • Brother to Brother: New Writings by Black Gay Men, Joseph Beam; Essex Hemphill
  • Does Your House Have Lions?, Sonia Sanchez
  • Health First!: The Black Woman’s Wellness Guide, Hilary Beard; Eleanor Hinton Hoytt
  • Health Issues in the Black Community, Ronald Braithwaite; Sandra Taylor
  • In the Life: a Black Gay Anthology, Joseph Beam
  • Letters to an Incarcerated Brother: Encouragement, Hope, and Healing for Inmates and their Loved Ones, Hill Harper
  • Living with HIV/AIDS: The Black Person’s Guide to Survival, Eric Goosby
  • Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Examination on Black Americans from Colonial Times to Present, Harriet Washington
  • My Brother, Jamaica Kincaid
  • Not in My Family: AIDS in the African-American Community, Gil L. Robertson IV
  • Push, Sapphire
  • Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More, Janet Mock
  • The Kid, Sapphire
  • The Black Women’s Health Book: Speaking for Ourselves, Evelyn White
  • The Boundaries of Blackness: AIDS and the Breakdown of Blackness, Cathy Cohen
  • The Secret Epidemic: The Story of AIDS in Black America, Jacob Levenson


  • All of Us
  • Black is — Black Ain’t
  • Broken on All Sides: Race, Mass Incarceration & New Visions for Criminal Justice in the U.S.
  • Cover
  • End Game: AIDS in Black America
  • For Colored Girls
  • Holiday Heart
  • Life Support
  • Living Life to the Fullest: a Guide for HIV Positive African Americans
  • Marlon T. Rigg’s Tongues Untied
  • One Week
  • Out of Control: AIDS in Black America
  • Paris is Burning
  • The Announcement
  • Yesterday


For a brief introduction to this issue, see the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Black Americans and HIV/AIDS

For a longer introduction, see:

For statistical introductions, see:

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s webpage on HIV among African Americans – for basic factsheets, podcasts, and other resources
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration, HIV/AIDS Bureau’s factsheet about HIV/AIDS and African Americans

Specific Issues

For considerations of HIV/AIDS among African American Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM), see:

For considerations of HIV/AIDS among African American Women and other intersecting issues including pregnancy, see:


For personal accounts, see:

  • The Body’s Up Close & Personal, first-person narratives from African Americans living with HIV
  • Greater Than AIDS’ Speak Out campaign, first-person stories aimed at confronting the silence and stigma that surrounds HIV/AIDS
  • Justin’s HIV Journey, Justin shares his experiences as a gay man living with HIV
  • Rae Lewis-Thorton’s Diva Living with HIV, Rae shares her experiences as a woman living with AIDS

For additional resources, contact the AIDS Library.

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