Listen to an important HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Public Service Announcement.
March 20, 2011 marked the fifth annual National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NNHAAD). This day is an opportunity to raise awareness about the impact of HIV/AIDS on Native people. HIV/AIDS continues to grow in the US, affecting communities of color at a disproportionate rate. According to the 2008 Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Surveillance Report, Native Hawaiians/other Pacific Islanders (22.8 per 100,000) and American Indians/Alaskan Natives (11.9 per 100,000) have the 3rd and 4th highest rates of new HIV infections. Furthermore, the diagnosis for HIV infection and AIDS rates increased from 2005 through 2008 among American Indians/Alaska Natives.
The purpose of this day is to: 1) encourage Native people to get educated and to learn more about HIV/AIDS and its impact in their community; 2) work together to encourage testing options and HIV counseling in Native communities; and 3) help decrease the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS. It is a time to reflect on those who have passed as well as those who are currently infected and affected by HIV/AIDS - a “Celebration of Life” for all Native people.
The NorthEast Two-Spirit Society is a proud supporter of this day. At the top of this article is a link to a public service announcement that is specifically designed for the two-spirit community.
Here is a transcript of the PSA:
Nad’le, wink’te, Ba’de, Iha’mana, adanvdo tali, He eman, s’kweakwan, or a Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual or Transgender Native American or First Nations, whatever name you call yourself - we are all proud two-spirit brothers and sisters. Knowing our traditions, culture and history is the only way we are going to restore our rightful place of honor and respect within our communities. Everything begins with you. That is why it is so important that we need to protect ourselves from diseases like HIV, so we will have better tomorrows for all the future generations. Take the test, and know your status.