“I was exposed to AIDS when I was 9 years old. My mom’s best friend growing up was diagnosed with AIDS and he basically raised me when my mom was launching her business," says Solange, who is a spokesperson for MTV and The Yes Say Yes to Safe Sex campaign. "Although I didn’t understand at the time what HIV or AIDS was, I knew that’s what he passed away from. He was one of the key people who helped build the foundation of who I am and this is why I have a close attachment to this cause.”
The comedian, actress and best-selling author has had AIDS hit close to home, losing an uncle and a girlfriend. Mo’Nique has made it her business to donate time and money to raise awareness about this disease that’s affecting Black America at disproportionate rates.
The former NBA baller has been an advocate of awareness since his own diagnosis some 20 years ago. The Magic Johnson Foundation recently launched a Stop Black Aids Campaign with Loop21.com to host panels and other educational activities and seminars to address the epidemic in the Black community.
In 2007, the vocal powerhouse was honored with the Excellence in Media Award by GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) for her lifelong work for gay and lesbian rights and participation in the fight against AIDS.
The former head of the NAACP has made a strong commitment to HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention. Through his work with the NAACP and even today, Bond relentlessly stresses the importance of outreach and treatment.
“Education is a necessary weapon in our arsenal to defeat HIV/AIDS, but on its own is not wholly sufficient. Poverty, sex education, and HIV/AIDS organizations all have a stake in defeating the HIV epidemic in the Black community and we must work together if we are to be successful,” Reuben, an actress, singer, and member of the Board of the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, wrote in a commentary on HuffingtonPost.com.
The renowned spiritual leader joined the fight against HIV/AIDS in the mid-1990s when The Potter’s House formed an official HIV/AIDS outreach program. Through its Balm Ministry, which functions under the church’s counseling center, the national and international program targets the faith community, women and minorities by sharing the latest HIV/AIDS statistics and providing free screening and educational seminars to congregants and community members.
As CEO of the Black AIDS Institute, Wilson had dedicated his life to awareness and prevention. The Institute interprets public and private sector HIV policies, conducts trainings, offers technical assistance, disseminates information and provides advocacy from a uniquely and unapologetically Black point of view. For more on the institute, visit blackaids.org.