HIV affects the Black community

More people in Oregon are being diagnosed with HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, like gonorrhea and syphilis, including people who are Black and African American. Structural factors like racism and gentrification contribute to higher rates of HIV in our communities.

Real talk: we all have an HIV status

Partner-led campaign

The African American AIDS Awareness Action Alliance (A6) and End HIV Oregon co-developed an advertising campaign to encourage Black and African American people in the Portland metro area to get tested for HIV, and to start talking about sexual health to reduce stigma. Early testing allows people to get the health care they need to prevent HIV – or, if they are infected, to get treatment, protect their partners, and live long, healthy, sexually active lives.

New infections are rising

New HIV infections are on the rise across Oregon. Other sexually transmitted infections, like syphilis and gonorrhea, have also increased in the state.

Black and African American people in Oregon have the highest rate of new HIV infections by race (20.1 per 100,000 people, compared to the overall state rate of 4.7 per 100,000 people). Black men who are gay, bisexual or have sex with other men (MSM) have especially high rates of HIV infection and may benefit from resources like PrEP, a daily pill or periodic injection that is 99% effective at preventing HIV transmission from sex.

Addressing health equity

Community and structural factors – like access to healthcare, economic resources, rates of infection within one’s social networks, segregation, and racism – play critical roles in the HIV epidemic among Black Americans. Black people living in Oregon are less likely to use prevention and treatment resources that are now available to prevent and treat HIV. Ending new HIV transmission is a goal we can achieve within our lifetimes – but not unless everyone has access to the tools they need to be healthy. PrEP, PEP, condoms, and sterile syringes can prevent HIV transmission. HIV treatment means that people living with HIV can live long, healthy lives, and have zero risk of transmitting HIV to sex partners.

Stigma remains a barrier

Everyone should be tested for HIV at least once. But worries about a positive diagnosis can prevent people from wanting to know their status. Stigma and fear are real, but there is no wrong test result. People with HIV are living long, healthy, and sexually active lives. And people who do not have HIV can prevent infection by using PrEP and PEP, condoms, and tools for safer drug use.

Through listening sessions completed by A6, Black and African American people in Portland expressed the need for more awareness about the virus, as well as information about how HIV is transmitted and how it can be prevented. Learn more! Start talking about sexual health!

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Our campaign leader

The African American AIDS Awareness Action Alliance (A6) supports Black and African American communities in Portland by directly involving community members in the planning, coordination and implementation of programs and events that raise awareness about HIV/AIDS, STI and mental health.

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What you can do

When you know your HIV status, you can protect yourself, and your sex partners. There are testing, prevention, and treatment resources available to you, and some of it is free.

Get tested for HIV

Ask your doctor about an HIV test. Most health insurance plans cover HIV testing. HIV tests can be provided with other routine screenings like blood pressure and cholesterol checks.

Free at-home testing is also available to people in Oregon.

Find in-person testing Order a free HIV home test Oregon TakeMeHome

Protect our community

Using condoms during sex and taking PrEP help protect you from HIV. End HIV Oregon and your local public health department can help you access prevention tools.

Get local help Order free condoms Find PrEP