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Welcome to Minority AIDS Project’s Webpage!

After more than thirty years of this pandemic, there still no cure or vaccine in the near horizon. Thousands of people infected with HIV or with a diagnosis of AIDS continue to die as a result of this devastating immune-destroying virus. Our current medical advances are effective for some individuals infected by HIV, but the stigma associated with the infection continues to run unrestrained in all levels of our society. The suffering of those infected with AIDS continues to be a daily reality for those HIV-infected individuals with additional psychosocial problems on top of their HIV infection. Many HIV surviving individuals and families continue to need help with food, transportation, housing, substance abuse treatment, mental health, nursing case management, medication education, etc. Those members of our community at high risk of becoming infected need to receive effective HIV-prevention interventions to ensure they remain HIV-negative.

Minority AIDS Project (MAP) originated in 1985 and is the first community based HIV/AIDS organization established and managed by people of color in the United States.  MAP is a California nonprofit organization that provides free of charge educational and other HIV/AIDS related support services to eligible individuals without regard to age, gender, ethnicity, culture, language or other circumstances. MAP’s services and educational programs are community-wide and available to all people.  However, from the beginning, the primary focus of our services and outreach has been the African-American and Latino communities in Central and South Central Los Angeles.

Minority AIDS Project’s goal is to ensure community based access to respectful and efficient health promotion and disease prevention services through the provision of critical support that works to bridge the gap of services for our multi-ethnic clients. Minority AIDS Project it dedicated to “reducing suffering and deaths due to HIV Infection and AIDS Disease in African American and Latino communities by making HIV/AIDS education and related health services available and accessible.” Until the doors opened at MAP, these communities had little or no real access to preventive education and essential health care services. 

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

There are many complex social and environmental factors that fuel the epidemic in African American communities. Especially concerning is poverty and the high level of unemployment within black communities during this current economic crisis. There are other factors associated with poverty that directly and indirectly increase the risk for HIV infection and affect the health of people living with HIV, including limited access to quality health care, housing, and HIV prevention education. Additionally, higher prevalence of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases in black communities can significantly increase the chance of contracting HIV infection. Moreover, stigma and homophobia – far too prevalent in every community – continue to prevent many African Americans from seeking HIV testing External Web Site Icon., prevention and treatment.

What is HIV and AIDS?

HIV is the human immunodeficiency virus. It is the virus that can lead to acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or AIDS. CDC estimates that about 56,000 people in the United States contracted HIV in 2006.

There are two types of HIV, HIV-1 and HIV-2. In the United States, unless otherwise noted, the term “HIV” primarily refers to HIV-1.

Both types of HIV damage a person’s body by destroying specific blood cells, called CD4+ T cells, which are crucial to helping the body fight diseases.

Where did HIV come from?

Scientists identified a type of chimpanzee in West Africa as the source of HIV infection in humans. They believe that the chimpanzee version of the immunodeficiency virus (called simian immunodeficiency virus or SIV) most likely was transmitted to humans and mutated into HIV when humans hunted these chimpanzees for meat and came into contact with their infected blood. Over decades, the virus slowly spread across Africa and later into other parts of the world.

How can HIV be prevented?

Because the most common ways HIV is transmitted is through anal or vaginal sex or sharing drug injection equipment with a person infected with HIV, it is important to take steps to reduce the risks associated with these. They include:

  • Know your HIV status. Everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 should be tested for HIV at least once. If you are at increased risk for HIV, you should be tested for HIV    at least once a year.

  • If you have HIV, you can get medical care, treatment, and supportive services to help you stay healthy and reduce your ability to transmit the virus to others.

  • If you are pregnant and find that you have HIV, treatments are available to reduce the chance that your baby will have HIV.

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