If you’re interested in learning about HIV science and treatment and want to apply your skills to AIDS advocacy within the Black community, then you should head back to school this fall for the African-American HIV University, a free program offered by the Black AIDS Institute (BAI).

Two of the university’s main HIV programs—the Science and Treatment College and the Community Mobilization College—are accepting applications through August 15. Each program consists of four eight-week sessions that run from September 2021 to May 2022.

On its website, BlackAIDS.org, the institute presents an overview of the university:

The African American HIV University (AAHU) is the Black AIDS Institute’s comprehensive training and leadership development initiative, designed to increase knowledge, decrease stigma and strengthen workforce capacity and engagement, ultimately to address and end the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Black American communities.

The AAHU model comprises 7 interconnected components, all designed to strengthen the HIV workforce. This model reaches approximately 3,000 people annually across the program cohorts, trainings, & webinars. This number does not include the reach (nearly 200,000 annually) from AAHU’s online informational materials across the BAI website & social media.  

The seven components of the university are:

  • Science and Treatment College
  • Community Mobilization College
  • HIV Workforce Certification Program
  • Training and capacity building
  • Biomedical research education
  • Black leadership network
  • Alumni network.

The African-American HIV University, according to a press release from the institute, is “aligned with BAI’s ‘We The People: A Black Strategy to End HIV,’ which is rooted in Black empowerment, the reinvigorated and expanded AAHU program aims to build Black leadership and mobilization skills as an upstream, structural, and sustainable intervention to end the epidemic in Black America.”

In related news, BAI joined a coalition of HIV leaders earlier this year to create an index to improve racial equity within the HIV sector. To learn more, see “Racial Justice Index: A New Tool to Combat Racism Within HIV Groups.”

Did you know that in 2019, African Americans represented 13% of the U.S. population but 43% of new HIV cases? In the South, Black Americans accounted for 52% of HIV diagnoses. You can learn more about HIV among African Americans—and several other minority populations—by visiting the HIV/AIDS Basics on POZ.com and clicking on the “HIV in Specific Populations” section. And check out the information in the write-up for 2021’s National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (#NBHAAD).