Wednesday, June 8, marks National Caribbean-American HIV/AIDS Day (NCAHAAD) 2016, a project of the Caribbean People International Collective in partnership with national organizations and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The Caribbean region has the second-highest prevalence of HIV in the world, after sub-Saharan Africa. According to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), about 250,000 people in the Caribbean are living with HIV, and in 2009, AIDS was the leading cause of death among 25- to 44-year-olds.
Because of the high rate of migration between the region and the United States, HIV remains a significant health challenge for many Caribbean-Americans. The awareness day is an attempt to educate this population with science-based information, empower people to fight stigma, encourage them to get tested and if found to be HIV positive to get connected to care.
June is National Caribbean-American Heritage Month. Speaking about that occasion, President Obama said:
“The legacy of Caribbean-Americans is one of tenacity and drive; it reminds us that in America, with faith and determination, anything is possible. This month, let us honor the resilient heritage and rich history of Caribbean-Americans, and let us reflect upon the diversity of experiences that unites us as a people.”