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HIV/AIDS continues to disproportionately affect communities of color within the United States. In contrast to other minority groups, the African-born population has lacked an indigenous body advocating and working to address the unique cultural, linguistic and systematic barriers that hinder meaningful HIV services in the United States. In 2006, a small group of public health professionals came together to created a national body, the National African HIV Initiative (NAHI), to address the increasing rates of HIV infection in the African-born population. NAHI, which is now the African HIV/AIDS Alliance (ANHA), is an African-led initiative comprised of organizations and individuals from across the United States dedicated to improving the health outcomes of African-born populations living in the US by increasing the capacity of HIV prevention screening and care through culturally competent advocacy, prevention and screening, research and evaluation. In 2007-2008, the group convened four regional summits in Atlanta, Boston, Washington DC and Seattle to bring awareness on the increasing rates and gather stakeholders’ concerns. Collectively, these summits brought together more than 800 health and social service providers, consumers, academia, faith leaders, government agencies, and African immigrants from across the nation to enhance partnerships and coordinate a national agenda. The extensive community feedback collected from these four national summits informed ANHA to implement a Black Immigrants & HIV conference in collaboration with the Multicultural AIDS Coalition, and with a small grant from the Office of HIV Policy, complete a two-part five-year strategic planning session. During this process, founding members determined the vision, mission, goals and objectives. ANHA is completing the process of being formalized and building on the original partnerships started under NAHI.
Stella M. Gran-O’Donnell
The African National HIV/AIDS Alliance vision is:
Every African individual, family and community living in the United States is able to access services for, prevent, manage and respond to HIV/AIDS and related infectious diseases.
The African National HIV/AIDS Alliance mission is:
We are dedicated to improving the health outcomes of Africans living in the United States through culturally- and linguistically-competent approaches. Our leadership and support enhance HIV prevention, screening and care by partnering with individuals, communities, government, service providers, academia and other stakeholders. We align ourselves with related efforts to address other systemic, institutional and social environmental factors that fuel the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Chioma Nnaji, President
Victoria Nayiga, Treasurer
Juliet Berk, Secretary
To engage all stakeholders in creating a national platform that increases the availability of targeted HIV resources and promotes affirmative policy change and development.
Education & Outreach:
To facilitate a learning environment for African immigrants, service providers and government officials (local, state and federal) to increase knowledge of: a) HIV disparities among the African-born population living in the U.S., and b) available HIV prevention, screening and care resources.
Data Collection, Research & Evaluation:
To develop and implement culturally competent data collection, research and education mechanisms that accurately reflect the HIV epidemic in the African-born population living in the U.S.
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