Monday, September 9, marks National African Immigrant and Refugee HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis Awareness Day (@NAIRHHADay). Though not nationally recognized (yet!), the awareness day has been observed by a growing number of advocates, health care professionals and communities since 2014.

According to the Hepatitis B Foundation, NAIRHHAD was launched by advocates in Massachusetts, New York and Washington, DC.

People born outside the United States often face unique health challenges. For example, hepatitis B and HIV are more prevalent in many communities in Africa; as a result, immigrants from these countries face disproportionate rates of the epidemics. NAIRHHAD was launched to raise awareness of both hepatitis B and HIV among African immigrants.

There’s a great need for NAIRHHAD, Chioma Nnaji, director at the Multicultural AIDS Coalition’s Africans for Improved Access, tells the Hepatitis B Foundation. “Several of the current awareness days are inclusive of African immigrant communities but do not comprehensively address their unique social factors and cultural diversity as well as divergent histories and experiences in the U.S.”

To learn more about NAIRHHAD events, visit the group’s Facebook page and Twitter account. To learn the basics about hepatitis B, visit this page of, and for the basics of HIV, start with this introduction in