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.