How to Stop the Black AIDS Crisis
An African-American expert on HIV/AIDS outlines three steps for ending the epidemic in our communities.
Numerous programs around the country provide at-risk communities with information and support. The effort I lead in Baltimore, called the JACQUES Initiative, takes HIV testing and treatment services to the streets of the city, to the people who need them most. But no matter where you live in America, online resources can help (AIDSVu.org automatically connects you to HIV-testing centers in your hometown).
So take my advice: On National HIV Testing Day, take advantage of the dramatic progress we are seeing in the fight against HIV by making a pledge to know your HIV status. Such knowledge really is the key to protecting ourselves, our families and the future of our community.
Derek Spencer is a nurse practitioner and executive director of the JACQUES Initiative at the Institute of Human Virology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, in Baltimore. The initiative provides HIV testing and raises community awareness about HIV while providing primary care, case management and supportive services for men and women living with HIV.