Southern Black HIV/AIDS Networks


The Southern Black HIV/AIDS Network is a movement rooted in the meaningful participation of those most impacted by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, principally those who are same gender loving (SGL), lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT), youth, women, and persons over the age of 55 of Black communities in the U.S. South, that will impact HIV policy, programs, and practice, as well as create opportunities for shared resources and information exchange.



There remains an urgent need for Black HIV leadership, usually organized by gender identity and/or sexual identity subpopulations, to unite and define a coordinated response for ending HIV/AIDS for Black communities in the U.S. South. 

In 2018, with support from the Gilead COMPASS Initiative administered by Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, SBPAN launched the Southern Black HIV/AIDS Network to expand the capacity of Black leaders and HIV advocates to impact federal, state and local HIV policy, programs, and research for diverse populations of Black communities in the U.S. South living with and impacted by HIV/AIDS. By working with our core audience of Black HIV leaders including senior, mid-career, and emerging - policymakers, advocates, health care providers, funders, and the media, we will create and implement a strategic roadmap that will bring about effective changes in policy, programs, and resources to improve HIV/AIDS, and other health outcomes for Black communities living in the U.S. South.


The U.S. South continues to be the epicenter for the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic. Over half (54%) of all new HIV diagnoses occur in the South despite the region representing only 38% of the total U.S. population. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Black communities account for a higher proportion of new HIV diagnoses, those living with HIV, and those who have ever received an AIDS diagnosis, compared to other races/ethnicities.

In 2016, African Americans accounted for 44% of HIV diagnoses, though they comprise 12% of the U.S. population.