photo of black woman and man

Empowering Black Communities with the Truth About HIV

The Cut the Stigma Campaign has two objectives:

1) empower Black communities with the latest info on how HIV is and is not transmitted

2) mobilize Black communities against HIV criminalization laws—which incarcerate people based not on science, but on misconceptions and prejudice.

Currently Cut the Stigma is a speaking and video presentation touring historically Black colleges and universities.

Cut the Stigma is a partnership between the Black AIDS Institute, the only HIV/AIDS think tank focused exclusively on Black people, and Lambda Legal, the largest legal defense organization for LGBT people and everyone living with HIV.


HIV Should Not Be A Crime

HIV criminalization laws compound the risk which Black people face with regard to HIV.

In 2017 Black people made up 44% of new HIV diagnoses.

In 2016, we made up 42% of people living with HIV.

To complicate matters, throughout the country, states have enacted laws which criminalize HIV.

As of 2018:

If you’re Black, you’re already nearly six times more likely to be incarcerated than if you’re White.

HIV criminalization laws give us yet another thing to worry about.

Cut the Stigma was inspired by Nikko Briteramos.

In October 2017, a Los Angeles barbershop refused to cut the personal trainer’s hair because he has HIV.

In 2019, Lambda Legal secured a favorable court ruling on his behalf.

Now Nikko is helping to spread the word: you can’t get HIV from cutting hair.

And punishing people for having HIV is wrong.

For more information, visit blackaids.org. 

For more about HIV and your legal rights, or if you’ve been discriminated against because of HIV status, visit lambdalegal.org/help.