HIV has had a heavy toll on gay African-American men. But, as Johnnie Kornegay of Counter Narrative Project points out in this statement, they've also been leaders in this three decade-old fight.
“National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is a day set aside for us to reflect on the impact of HIV and AIDS in our community. I recognize the important and critical advances in HIV treatment. I also acknowledge the continuing disproportionate HIV infection rates affecting Black gay men nationwide, but particularly in the deep South. So today, I honor those who came before me. The warriors of the 1980s, who, at a time when death seemed imminent, kept fighting, kept marching, kept writing, kept creating films, and kept taking pictures. They laid the foundation for all of us to press on in this fight. They left us the blueprint. We have always been here. We’re still here.”
JOHNNIE KORNEGAY is Director of Digital Strategy and Stakeholder Engagement at Counter Narrative Project. He's also a photographer, activist and arts consultant, based in Atlanta, Georgia. He blogs at JayRayIsTheName, and he hosts his own art and life podcast at SeeingSoundsRadio.