“Dismantle or Step Aside” The Road to HIV Racial Justice Now! and The Push for Racial Liberation in the Domestic HIV Movement

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Deion S. Hawkins
Andrew Spieldenner
Venita Ray
Olivia G. Ford
Marvell L. Terry, II


While there have been tremendous advancements in HIV prevention, treatment, research, and care, vast health disparities still exist across race and ethnicity, as Black and Latinx people continue to have disproportionate rates of new HIV cases. Despite this fact, funding toward and implementation of policies that meet the needs of most impacted communities are virtually non-existent. Moreover, meaningful and impactful discussions about HIV have always required analyzing interlocking systems of privilege and oppression. Thus, in 2017, a group of scholars and activists of color developed HIV Racial Justice Now!, a nationwide grassroots coalition dedicated to advancing a racially just framework for the domestic HIV epidemic. In addition to developing The Declaration, a framework that can be used to push for racial liberation, HRJN disrupts traditional notions of HIV rhetoric, racial justice, and public memory by decentering whiteness in the domestic HIV movement.

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