Dear DaBaby

As the recent viral video of DaBaby still causes the hairs on the back of peoples necks to stand up, ten organizations including Arianna’s Center, the Black AIDS Institute, GLAAD, The Normal Anomaly Initiative, Relationship Unleashed, and leaders from the Gilead COMPASS Initiative including Southern AIDS Coalition, Emory University, the University of Houston, and Wake Forest University released an open letter to music artist DaBaby requesting a private meeting to discuss the facts about HIV and share how HIV is a preventable and treatable condition.

This seems to be a matter that has raised concern across the nation and not just a social trend.

“DaBaby and all Americans must learn the truth about HIV and work towards defeating the stigma that keeps people from HIV prevention and life saving treatment that allows them to live long and healthy lives, and not transmit HIV. Together with leaders in the HIV field, we are asking for a meeting with DaBaby to educate and enlighten him, and all Americans, about the facts: HIV is preventable and with treatment, it can become undetectable and therefore untransmittable. DaBaby can be a powerful and influential voice where Black Americans need it most. We urge him to learn the facts and use his platform to share the truth that can save lives.” -Dashawn Usher, GLAAD Associate Director, Communities of Color

“For the last few years, the Gilead COMPASS Initiative has helped build a network of over 180 organizations throughout the South determined to educate communities and end the stigma associated with HIV. Comments like DaBaby’s make it clear that we have more work to do, but we’ve never been more empowered to do that work than we are today. This is an opportunity for all of us to learn and grow.” -Kia Colbert, Director, COMPASS Coordinating Center at Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University

The open letter was drafted and signed by organizations providing HIV education, capacity building, and direct services to people most impacted by HIV/AIDS, especially Black LGBTQ communities across the southern United States, which accounts for the majority of new HIV cases. Organizations that signed the letter include Gilead COMPASS Initiative coordinating centers at Emory University, the University of Houston, Southern AIDS Coalition, and Wake Forest University. The Gilead COMPASS Initiative is a ten year $100 million commitment to end HIV in the southern United States by collaborating with over 180 community organizations and other stakeholders on several focus areas, including efforts to combat stigma.

The letter stresses that people living with HIV today, when on effective treatment, lead long and healthy lives and cannot transmit HIV.

Read the letter here:

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