APPROACH AND METHODOLOGY
A two-year action plan on AIDS and the Black diaspora will build commitment and expand the evidence base for action to address the AIDS burden in Black communities outside Africa. The Institute seeks to establish proof-of-concept that it is feasible to mobilize Black communities in developed countries to strengthen AIDS responses. In the first year, the Institute will focus on developing and documenting best practices in AIDS community mobilization in the U.S., with the aim of informing a second year of work to increase global attention to the pandemic's effects on Black communities throughout the world. Using the new national AIDS strategy as a catalyst, the Institute will provide a line-by-line interpretation of the new strategy for Black stakeholders; develop an implementation plan to guide Black efforts to ensure the success of the new strategy; convene high-level Black political leaders to generate concrete, visionary leadership commitments; conduct consultations and town hall meetings in Black communities throughout the U.S. to encourage grassroots ownership of the new strategy; and issue a high-level report on the national AIDS strategy from a Black perspective. Working with the Magic Johnson Foundation, the Institute will reach out to other national Black AIDS organizations to enlist them in this national mobilization campaign. As these activities are implemented, the Institute will also intensify and scale-up its work with leading national Black organizations, placing particular emphasis on emphasizing knowledge of HIV status as a social norm in Black communities. Documenting lessons learned from these efforts, the Institute will work with diverse partners in the worldwide Black diaspora to galvanize greater global attention to the pandemic's effects on Black people worldwide and to facilitate advocacy, cross-training and partnership cultivation to accelerate a worldwide movement to address common AIDS challenges faced by Black communities. At the 2012 International AIDS Conference in Washington D.C., the Institute will convene a global meeting on AIDS and the Black diaspora of opinion leaders and Black AIDS stakeholders and produce a major new report on AIDS and the Black diaspora.
IMPLEMENTATION, TIMELINE, AND DELIVERABLES
(1) The Institute's line-by-line guidance for Black stakeholders on the new strategy will be launched in October 2010, reaching an estimated 50,000 stakeholders nationwide. (2) In November 2010, the Institute will publish an implementation plan to aid Black partners throughout the country in implementing activities to support and monitor the national AIDS strategy, reaching an estimated 50,000 stakeholders nationwide. (3) Around World AIDS Day, the Institute will convene a major high-level meeting of preeminent Black leaders in Washington DC to rally support for the AIDS strategy and to elicit concrete leadership commitments on AIDS. (The Institute envisions this approach as similar to the one used by CGI to forge partner commitments.) (4) Beginning in January 2011, the Institute will convene at least 20 events in cities with high AIDS burdens to generate community enthusiasm and engagement on the AIDS strategy as it specifically pertains to Black America, attracting an estimated 3,000 participants and generating extensive media coverage. (5) A major report on Black America and the AIDS strategy will be released in March 2011, reaching at least 50,000 stakeholders nationwide and including specific steps the community and the federal government must take to ensure that the strategy works for Black people. (6) Intensifying its work with national Black organizations, the Institute will over the next 12 months aid in highlighting AIDS on the agenda of at least five major national Black political meetings. (7) Media outreach by the Institute will generate at least 100 articles in publications geared to Black people, with an estimated collective consumer reach of 20 million people. (8) Through intensifying its work with national Black organizations and state/local partners, the Institute will ensure within the next 12 months that at least 250 organizations in all 25 target cities are participating in the Institute-conceived 'Test 1 Million' campaign, which will reach at least 1 million Black Americans with HIV testing services in the coming year. (9) At the end of Year One, the Institute will intensify its outreach to stakeholders in the Black disapora to share lessons learned from Year One. (10) At the 2012 International AIDS Conference in Washington DC, the Institute will launch a major new report (supported by extensive media outreach) on AIDS and the Black disapora. (11) In partnership with other stakeholders, the Institute will convene a major global meeting to chart ways forward in calling attention to the AIDS crisis in the Black diaspora and in addressing common AIDS challenges confronting Black populations throughout the world.
The Black AIDS Institute is a leading voice for HIV-related issues affecting Black Americans, receiving more media mentions than any other Black AIDS organization and having assisted the most prominent national Black organizations (e.g., NAACP, Rainbow Push, etc.) to develop their first-ever strategic action plans. The Black AIDS Institute is also a longtime member of the African and Black Diaspora Global Network on HIV and AIDS and has undertaken joint work with Black organizations across the world. Its 2008 report, Left BehindBlack America: A Neglected Priority in the Global AIDS Epidemic, drew worldwide attention in elite media channels and prompted President Clinton to commit the Clinton Foundation to prioritize work to address AIDS in Black America as a component of its mission to fight the global AIDS epidemic. With the next International AIDS Conference planned to be held in 2012 in Washington D.C., a critical window of opportunity exists to identify common challenges faced by Black people across the globe who live in countries outside Africa, create and test new models for more effective action to address these challenges, and forge new models for cooperation, joint learning and coordinated action to address a pandemic that primarily affects Black people. The Institute proposes to use its experiences in the U.S. to build the evidence base for social mobilization to address AIDS issues in Black communities, building toward the 2012 International Conference, where the Institute envisions working with diverse partners in the global Black diaspora to bring unprecedented attention to common AIDS challenges faced by Black people across the globe. The U.S. represents a useful prism for understanding common challenges, identifying new models for action, and driving global awareness and commitment on these issues. Not only does Black America have an unusually extensive and well-organized civil society, but Black America is especially influential across the Black diaspora as a result of America's superpower status and the inspiration drawn from the American civil rights movement. The U.S. also offers a challenging environment in which to test new models for community action. Eight years of political neglect and policy drift after President Clinton's time in office has dramatically weakened America's capacity to respond to its own epidemic, especially in the hardest-hit segment of the U.S. populationBlack America. Structural budgetary deficits are also believed to pose considerable barriers to major new increases in AIDS funding in the U.S. Despite these challenges, the U.S. also serves as potentially fertile territory to use community education and mobilization strategies to overcome these impediments to a more effective response. Through its advocacy, technical support, and innovative programming, the Black AIDS Institute has played a key role in jump-starting the first-ever broad-based mobilization on AIDS within the Black community. However, with the average Black person confronting a risk of dying from AIDS that is eight times higher than the typical white American, time is not on our side. Intensified leadership and action within Black America is urgently needed - - - - - to ensure the community's strongest possible response to this most serious health threat and to hold government leaders accountable for addressing this critical national priority. In essence, the Institute aims to harness the human potential within Black America to generate transformative leadership and real results for Black people and to share these findings with partners in other countries who face similar challenges. In its quest to catalyze a dramatically scaled-up community response to AIDS in Black America, the Black AIDS Institute seeks to address five key needs: (1) AIDS as a central threat to the Black Diaspora. The pandemic primarily affects Black people. The AIDS burden in sub-Saharan Africa is well recognized; the region is home to two-thirds of all people living with HIV, 68% of new HIV infections, 72% of AIDS deaths, and more than 90% of new infections in children (UNAIDS, 2009). Yet the AIDS crisis among Black people is hardly confined to Africa, as the disease is having devastating effects across the Black diaspora. The Caribbean has the second highest rate of HIV in the world (UNAIDS, 2009). Accounting for only 13% of the national population, Black America accounts for 46% of all people living with HIV in the U.S. and 45% of new HIV infections (CDC, 2008). In the United Kingdom, heterosexuals now account for the majority of new HIV infections, with African immigrants representing more than two-thirds of such cases (U.K. Health Protection Agency, 2008). Indeed, across Europe, Black people who acquired HIV in their country of origin represent a growing share of new HIV diagnoses - - - - - 17% in 2007 (Eurosurveillance, 2008). These epidemics reflect common dynamics. Regardless of their geographic locations, most Black people living with HIV are low-income; epidemics among Black populations involve extensive heterosexual HIV transmission, often driven by low rates of male circumcision and a high prevalence of sexual concurrency; the epidemics involve significant numbers of women and children, with gender dynamics often undermining the ability of women and girls to protect themselves; and national governments have often been slow to respond (see Black AIDS Institute, 2008). (2) Black America's Important Role in the Global AIDS Epidemic and the Epidemic's Unique Threat to African Americans within the U.S. Were Black America a country in its own right, it would rank 16th in the number of HIV-infected individuals and outrank seven of the 15 PEPFAR focus countries (Black AIDS Institute, 2008- data drawn from UNAIDS, 2008, and CDC, 2008). In 2008, Black people were nearly nine times more likely to be diagnosed with HIV than whites in the U.S. (CDC, 2008). AIDS is the leading cause of death among Black women in the U.S. between 25-34 and the second leading cause of death among Black men between 35-44 (CDC, 2007). Only robust, broad-ranging leadershipextending from the grassroots to Black churches to foremost civic and political leaders will reverse this severe health crisis. (3) Inadequate HIV Testing Rates Among Black Americans. According to CDC, Black Americans are less likely than whites to be tested early. Delayed diagnosis of HIV infection significantly worsens medical outcomes and contributes to unknowing HIV transmission. A key aim of the Black AIDS Institute's commitment is to accelerate the development within Black communities of a strong social norm that every Black American should know his or her HIV status. (4) Inadequate Community Awareness and Leadership. Although Black Americans are significantly more likely than their white or Latino counterparts to regard AIDS as one of the top two health problems, the percentage of Black Americans who report having heard a lot about HIV declined from 62% in 2006 to 33% in 2009 (Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2010). Over the last two years, the Black AIDS Institute assisted 14 leading national Black civic and political organizations to develop their first-ever strategic AIDS action plans, which has led to the hiring within these organizations of full-time AIDS focal points to implement HIV-focused initiatives and help mainstream AIDS work within the broader Black cultural and political agenda. Having established the foundation for greater community leadership, the challenge now is to convert this burgeoning community capacity into robust, unprecedented action. AIDS needs to become a central priority for each of these organizations, and the commitment to the AIDS response must extend from national headquarters to state and local chapters and affiliates throughout the U.S. (5) A Flagging U.S. Government Commitment. During the eight years after President Clinton left office, America's response to its own epidemic stagnated, even as the country was exhibiting extraordinary leadership on global AIDS issues. Ultimately, no one can solve Black America's AIDS problem but Black America, but the Black community needs a partner in the federal government. Today, though, with discretionary HIV spending failing to keep pace with inflation, more than 2,000 people nationwide are on waiting lists for life-saving AIDS drugs in the world's richest and most powerful country. As the epidemic has become firmly centered in Black America, the federal government's commitment to HIV prevention has also withered; in 2010, HIV prevention expenditures account for only 3% of federal spending on HIV (Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2010). The launch of a new national AIDS strategy offers a unique opportunity to reverse the recent history of drift and neglect in America's AIDS response. Given the degree to which the federal effort on AIDS has weakened over the last decade, it is critical that we use the new AIDS strategy to strengthen national AIDS commitment and to generate a meaningful partnership between the federal government and the Black community.
The Black AIDS Institute seeks partners to provide financial support for their recently conceived HIV Science and Treatment College, which isa new component of the African-American HIV University (AAHU) and the Institute's flagship training and capacity-building program. The year-long training will involve 45 days of intensive classroom training conducted by HIV science and treatment experts. These trainings will focus on basic facts about HIV prevention and pathogenesis, biomedical HIV prevention and treatment options, clinical trial participation, and health care delivery and payment. Participants will also learn practical skills, such as how best to engage, educate and motivate members of their communities; and how to situate HIV treatment and care navigation programs within their own organizations. During the year-long program, participants will return to their own organizations to put their newfound skills into practice, benefiting at each stage from the guidance and technical support of trained Black AIDS Institute staff.