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Women of Color and HIV/AIDS/STIs Prevention

Black Women and HIV/AIDS

  • 58%

    In 2018, 58% of all women diagnosed with HIV were Black women.

  • 14x

    That's how much higher the rate of new HIV diagnoses is for Black women in comparison to white women.

  • 43%

    We've seen a 43% decrease in new diagnoses for Black women between 2008 and 2018.

The statistics are sobering. Among all women, Black women account for the largest share of new HIV diagnoses—a shocking 58% in the U.S. in 2018. At the same time, the rate of new diagnoses among Black women is 14 times the rate among white women and almost 5 times the rate among Latinas. There are many reasons for these racial disparities. Due to the impact of systemic and structural racism, the chance of being exposed to the virus is greater in the social networks of Black women than in the social networks of other women. In addition, the disproportionately high poverty rate among African Americans exacerbates the problem. Why? Because poverty is a risk factor for HIV and STIs. Poverty often equals limited access to high-quality health care, lack of housing, and lack of access to HIV prevention education.

That’s why we created two powerful demonstration projects, a sexual health toolkit called RoyalTea, and a public awareness campaign called Upspoken. The demonstration projects adapt document and disseminate best practices to address prevention and early intervention for women of color at risk for HIV/AIDS and STIs. And Upspoken is a culturally grounded and affirming online campaign that inspires Black women to care for themselves and their sexual health.

Meet the organizations we're funding to do this visionary work and projects they've launched.

A couple hugs and looks like they communicate very well with each other
Sexual Risk Education Demonstration Projects

We believe one of the key roles of philanthropy is to pilot different ways of thinking and new approaches to issues that can translate into long-term policy solutions. Our two demonstration projects are building on tried-and-true education and behavior-changing strategies (Eban and S.I.S.T.A.) to reduce sexual risk behavior among African American women and girls.

Upspoken Public Awareness Campaign

Launched in April 2018, Upspoken engages multi-generational Black women and contributes to new ways of thinking about HIV, AIDS and STIs among direct service providers, advocacy organizations, individual and institutional funders, and policymakers. The campaign also seeks to increase understanding and raise awareness about the disproportionate impact of HIV, AIDS and STIs on women of color and encourage increased funding and improved public policies related to Black women and HIV, AIDS and STIs. As part of this campaign, we created RoyalTea, our sexual health toolkit created by and for Black women. Read the news release.

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