Community Profiles

Kevin J

Location: Pennsylvania
Race/Ethnicity: African American

What motivates you in the fight against HIV/AIDS?

A lot of my neighbors, friends, family members, and lovers are Black. Each day, I have to face the sobering fact that too many of them, particularly my gay and bisexual brothers, are living with HIV/AIDS and unaware of their HIV status. Knowledge is power, and, when acted upon, has the potential to be more powerful than HIV/AIDS.

What is your community doing in the fight against HIV/AIDS?

I've noticed an increase in conversations about HIV and HIV prevention. Some may be more productive than others. When we have supportive conversations about HIV/AIDS and about those living with it, we remove stigma and make it easier for people to learn their status through HIV testing and make critical decisions about safer sex.

What can people do to help find an HIV vaccine?

Participation in clinical HIV vaccine trials may be a difficult decision for some. Still, most people, especially those with elevated risk, should be offered participation when these trials are available and appropriate for the person. It is incumbent on research staff to engage Black men about these opportunities, and important for these men and their communities to make thoughtful choices about their involvement.