Black women and Black gay men continue to strategize about HIV/AIDS
For the past several years, members of the National Black Gay Men's Advocacy Coalition and the Black Women's HIV/AIDS Network have met to develop a common strategy to advocate for federal HIV prevention and care resources. The initial meeting in 2008, a two-day gathering in Charlotte, North Carolina, was held as a result of each organizations' observation that as the rate of HIV infection increased among Black gay men and Black women and funding for prevention, care and treatment were cut or remained stagnant, tensions were developing between the two populations.
At times, Black gay men and Black women were pitted against each in ways that seem to laid blame and not solutions to the HIV/AIDS crisis. It became clear that a new dialogue was needed between the two groups on how to respond to the impact of HIV disease individually and collectively as organizations. Since that initial retreat, the leadership of the organizations have met regularly at various national HIV conferences. In 2010, they returned to Charlotte for a follow-up to their historic gathering two years earlier. That two-day meeting consisted of participants who were invited by the National Black Gay Men's Advocacy Coalition and the Black Women's HIV/AIDS Network. The meetings promoted frank discussions about strategies to reduce HIV infection and increase resources for organizations serving Black gay men and Black women. Over the years, by confronting many long-standing issues, the organizations have been able to come together and commit to moving forward with a sense of unity while respecting the unique aspects of each community's agenda.