February 7, 2018 marks the 18th year for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, a national HIV testing and treatment community mobilization initiative. NBHAAD was founded as a national response to the growing HIV and AIDS epidemic in African-American communities.

The NBHAAD initiative leverages a national platform to educate, bring awareness and mobilize the African-American community. NBHAAD has four key focus areas which encourage people to:

  • Get Educated about HIV and AIDS;
  • Get Involved in community prevention efforts;
  • Get Tested to know their status; and
  • Get Treated to receive the continuum of care needed to live with HIV/AIDS.

At some point in their lives, approximately one in 20 black men and one in 48 black women will be diagnosed with HIV, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC also estimates that roughly 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV – and nearly one in 8 are not aware that they are infected. Regular testing is critical in the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS. Although HIV/AIDS is rarely seen as the epidemic it once was, research proves otherwise and many continue to suffer. One organization at the front of this fight is Bebashi Transition to Hope.

Formerly called Blacks Educating Blacks About Sexual Health Issues (BEBASHI), Bebashi Transition to Hope was founded in 1985 in Philadelphia at the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis. As the second-oldest AIDS service organization in the Philadelphia region, Bebashi – Transition to Hope was the first African-American organization in the United States to address the AIDS crisis; specifically with how it transpired within the black community. At the time of it's inception, only one funeral home in the Philadelphia area would provide funeral and burial services to those infected with the virus. Bebashi was the first safe space, a second home, where people could get quality care and education.

Now in it's 33rd year, it remains one of Philadelphia's largest community-based minority providers of HIV/AIDS education and services for the urban community, and is a model for the provision of culturally specific education and services for other communities of color, serving more than 20,000 consumers annually by providing free services, such as medical case management, prevention education, medication delivery and support groups. Since it's inception, Bebashi has expanded it's services to include free and confidential HIV/AIDS, STI and pregnancy testing, breast cancer education and services, hunger relief and additional support services, including linkage to care and funding of ID cards for the thousands of Philadelphians who need them.

In honor of NBHAAD, Bebashi will testing at the following sites:

Bebashi Transition to Hope Headquarters
1235 Spring Garden Street
Philadelphia, PA 19123
9:00AM – 4:00PM

Community College of Philadelphia (Mobile Unit)
18th & Callowhill
Philadelphia, PA
9:00AM – 12:00PM

Cheney University
Marcus Foster Center, 2nd Floor
11:00AM – 4:00PM
Cheney, PA

Temple University (Mobile Unit)
Broad & Oxford
Philadelphia, PA
1:00PM – 5:00PM

Bebashi will be raffling off a pair of tickets to see K.Michelle, live at the Fillmore in Philadelphia on February 20th, at each college campus testing site. All who get tested will be entered to win.

Those who are in the Philadelphia area and are interested in getting tested or learning more about Bebashi's work, visit www.bebashi.org or visit their offices at 1235 Spring Garden Street – Philadelphia, PA 19123. 

Designate February 7 as your annual or bi-annual screening, and spread the word! Let's work together to end this cycle!