African American Gay Men's Health Initiative
Black men who have sex with men suffer among the highest HIV rates of any population in the world.
A U.S. study shows that 46%—or 1 in 2—Black men who have sex with men may be HIV-positive. Here in Los Angeles, reports show that 33 to 36%—1 in 3—Black men who have sex with men may be HIV-positive. In both cases, too many men are unaware of their infection.
The time has come to “Flip the Script.”
These statistics are staggering, yet Black gay men have the power and strength to reverse them by learning about HIV and how to protect themselves and their community.
“Let’s Flip the Script” is a project undertaken by the African American Gay Men’s Health Initiative (AAGMHI) and sponsored by APLA Health.
The mission of the AAGMHI is to advocate for the needs of Black gay men by inviting them to take part in building a community that will reduce the incidence of HIV and other STIs and promote wellness in the Black community. AAGMHI addresses co-factors such as homophobia, discrimination and other stigmas that play a role in risk-taking behavior by capitalizing on the strengths and resiliency of Black gay men.
One essential way that you can flip the script is to know your HIV status. You can get information on the different ways to be tested and kinds of HIV tests, along with an explanation of test results, by contacting the Gleicher/ Chen Health Center in Baldwin Hills at 323.329.9900 or the Long Beach Health Center at 562.432.7300.
Another way to flip the script is to seek medical care if you have HIV. With an early diagnosis and advances in treatment, HIV-positive people can lead fulfilling, productive lives. For more information about medical care and other support services offered in the care and treatment of HIV-positive people—including support groups, housing assistance, and counseling services, to just to name a few—contact the Gleicher/Chen Health Center at 323.329.9900.
Other Ways to Flip the Script
- Encourage your friends and family members to get tested for HIV/STDs.
- If you are HIV-positive, get access to medical care now and learn about your treatment options.
- If you are HIV-negative, find support to stay that way.
- If you are HIV-negative, talk to a doctor about PrEP.
- Find help if substance abuse is an issue for you.
- Join a support/rap group to build and sustain a sense of community and wellness.
- Utilize spiritual resources as a means to maintain wellness.
- Encourage dialogue about HIV with family, friends and sexual partners.
- Be open about your identity as gay or same gender-loving men.
- Address homophobia and racism in your community.
- Become involved in HIV policy and advocacy efforts.