Friday, March 20, marks National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NNHAAD) 2020. Native communities in the United States include American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations as well as Native Hawaiians.

An NNHAAD graphic available to share on social media

An NNHAAD graphic from available to share on social mediaCourtesy, Set, PrEP

The number of new HIV diagnoses among Native people increased 46% (from 157 to 230) between 2010 and 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to, the awareness day strives to reach three goals:

  • Encourage Native people to get educated and to learn more about HIV/AIDS and its impact in their community;
  • Work together to encourage testing options and HIV counseling in Native communities;
  • Help decrease the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
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Friday, March 20 is National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, and in recognition, we wanted to share information about “Two-Spirit”. ”Two-Spirit" refers to traditions in Native American communities for an accepted gender role outside of the male/female binary. Indigenous gay men and Two-Spirit transgender and gender non-conforming people are disproportionately impacted by HIV; the number of new diagnoses in these communities has increased by 81% from 2010 to 2016. Access to testing, treatment, and culturally competent care are vital in ending the epidemic in Native American communities. Want to learn more about #TwoSpirit? Check out @them’s informative video with @niskapisuwin @HIVgov #NNHAAD #NativeAmerican

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The awareness day coincides with the first day of spring, which falls on March 19, 20 or 21, depending on the year. NNHAAD was launched in 2007 by three organizations working together as the National Native Capacity Building Assistance Network.

“Spring represents a time of equality and balance and is the only day when day and night are at equal lengths,” according to “It is considered a time of profound change, new beginnings and birth; a celebration of life for all people.”

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POZ March 2018

2018’s March cover of POZ featured Shana Cozad, a member of the Kiowa tribe of Oklahoma who has been living with HIV for more than two decades. For more, read “Quest for Healing: Overcoming the Challenges of Fighting HIV Among Native Americans.”

Cozad is also featured in the CDC’s “Let’s Stop HIV Together” campaign, which includes the digital story posted above.