Why intersectional feminism needs reproductive justice approaches to HIV

By Jallicia Jolly

Amidst the recent attacks on access to quality health care and sexual and reproductive health services, the assaults on the lives of racial and sexual minorities specifically reveal the systematic violation reserved for poor women of color, particularly Black and transgender women.

The neglect of Black women’s intersectional health experiences in national discussions about HIV/AIDS, coupled with the growing rates of HIV/AIDS in black communities, beg a critical question: How can a reproductive justice approach allow governments and decision makers to properly invest in Black health?

California Wants to Repeal Felony HIV Criminalization Laws. No, That Does Not Deserve Backlash.

Recently, California legislators took the first steps towards combatting HIV criminalization by introducing a bill that would downgrade the charge for failing to disclose positive status to sexual partners from a felony to a misdemeanor. The bill would also apply to penalties against non-disclosure to blood banks.

The Bigots Are Right: The HIV Epidemic Among Black, Gay Men is from Immorality

By: Marq Montgomery

**This article was originally posted at AngryBlackHoemo.com and has been republished with permission**


It’s Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, so it’s a good of a time as any to dive into this topic.

When we talk about the HIV/AIDS epidemic among Gay men, in general, there’s often an air of judgement and condescension, dripping with implications that any of us who contract the virus “deserve it” for our “immoral” behavior. And when you add in the racism of addressing Black, Gay men, that attitude only grows…even from other Gay men.

Four Ways To Support #WorldAIDSDay

Ever since 1988, December 1 has been used to bring light to HIV/AIDS and the impact it has on millions of people across the globe with World AIDS Day.

According to UNAIDS, the United Nations program for HIV/AIDS, 35 million people have died from it since it first began to spread. Fortunately, medical advancement has made the disease treatable and allows carriers to live long, happy lives and the frequency of transmission has decreased.

Rapper Mykki Blanco Rejects Stigma, Reveals HIV Positive Status



Queer rapper Mykki Blanco, born Michael Quattlebaum, Jr., has established himself firmly in the music industry. His talents as a rapper, artist, and poet have garnered him respect in many social and professional circles which typically exclude LGBTQ folks. So, he is no stranger to breaking mainstream norms and overcoming social stigma. Blanco’s recent admission freed him from any remaining  constraints he may have had when he revealed his positive HIV status.

“F–k stigma and hiding in the dark, this is my real life,” Blanco, 28, said via Facebook last week. “I’m healthy I’ve toured the world 3 times but I’ve been living in the dark. It’s time to actually be as punk as I say I am.” He has been living with this secret since 2011. Blanco has made it clear that this revelation is about him, not the judgemental gaze of American society. When fans seemed concerned about his well-being, he wrote that he feels fine and plans to have a personal life following this announcement.

In a sequence of tweets last Saturday, Blanco explained that he had spent too much of his career in “fear and hiding,” feelings he no longer wanted to carry with him.

Blanco also tweeted that he shared his status with each of his intimate partners even though he hadn’t shared it widely with fans. He tweeted that he was “Always disclosing my status to EVERY person I ever kissed or was intimate with but with a fear of ‘what if they tell people about me.'”

But, he expressed that some close friends and family may have felt “betrayed” by his need for privacy. He wrote, “It is easier for me now living HIV Positive for 5 years to make the statement to say it then (sic) it maybe for you to receive it.” He went on, “turning 29 this year basically means i’m about to start the next decade of my life as a full fleged (sic) adult completely independent.” Blanco is living his life honestly in public, unapologetically. He got free.

Perhaps the most important tweet he wrote was a day later. It was an image of Blanco walking toward a pool with his back to the camera. It read only three words: “no looking back:)” While his goal was to free himself, his courage is an empowering gesture for many people on the margins in this society. His decision not to look back, not to apologize for who he is today is an inspiring manifestation of self-love. Blanco’s assertion of self amidst the imposition of deafening silence on the issues of HIV/AIDS in Black communities is radical.

Mainstream culture probably isn’t ready to address the varying experiences of Black, queer, and trans people in America especially where it concerns HIV/AIDS. But,  we are who we’ve been waiting for. As Blanco has shown, it’s time to get free.

Photo credit: Mykki Blanco/Facebook


Jenn M. Jackson is the Editorial Assistant for The Black Youth Project. She is also the Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of Water Cooler Convos, a politics, news, and culture webmag for bourgie Black nerds. For more about her, tweet her at @JennMJack or visit her website at jennmjackson.com.

Toddler thought to have been cured of HIV now has detectable levels of virus in bloodstream


A toddler thought to have been cured of HIV now has detectable levels of the virus in her bloodstream.

The child’s stunning story was first revealed at a medical meeting in March 2013. The revelation was the first account of an HIV-infected infant achieving what appeared to be a cure after receiving aggressive drug treatment within the first 30 hours of life.