March 20, 2014 marks the 7th 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.
In the United States, HIV and AIDS are tracked according to certain categories recognized by the scientific/medical establishment like MSM (men who have sex with men) and MSM/IDU (intravenous drug users) - or what we would call the Two-Spirit community.
The Two-Spirit community is one of the most impacted community when it comes to HIV/AIDS - more than ever we must take a stand against this disease!