During the 39th Annual Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Legislative Conference on September 25, the National Minority AIDS Council announced details of its new Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) HIV/AIDS Peer Education Initiative, which will encourage students to get more involved in HIV/AIDS prevention and education efforts on campus and in surrounding communities.

Participating schools include Virginia Union University in Richmond; Howard University in Washington, DC; and Bowie State University in Bowie, Maryland.

The announcement took place at the NMAC-sponsored An Evening Without Politics: A Benefit Reception, an event that brought together corporate leaders, policymakers and HIV community leaders to draw more attention to the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic and the need for a national AIDS strategy.

“We need a national, comprehensive and coordinated strategy to address HIV/AIDS, a plan that requires the same level of accountability and transparency that we demand of other countries when we give them funding to address HIV/AIDS,” said Paul Kawata, executive director of NMAC. “As part of that strategy, we must continue to address socio-economic disparities, such as unemployment, lack of insurance, homelessness, poverty and lack of education, that have helped foster the AIDS epidemic in the U.S., particularly in communities of color.”