NTFAP History and

AIDS Prevention Goals

The National Task Force on AIDS Prevention was officially founded on July 9, 1988, during the 8th annual convention of NABWMT. It was preceded, however, by AIDS education and support work carried out by several chapters and countless members within the National Association. Their first office was located at 273 Church St., San Francisco.

At the local chapter level AIDS education began in the early 1980s. But, our attempts to share information and coordinate our efforts with each other were always hampered by a lack of resources. Thus, we decided to apply for a CDC grant to create a National Task Force, and with adequate funding we were certain that we could have a greater impact on our members, our friends and our communities. We were confident we could implement a strategy that would help ourselves and our brothers to examine risky behaviors and make personal changes.

There are 23 chapters, either called Black and White Men Together (BWMT) or Men of All Colors Together (MACT). Four chapters spearheaded the development of work which served to focus our overall mission on ensuring that Black gay and bisexual men receive a fair share of AIDS services and that they are targeted with an extensive education effort that befits the disproportionate toll the epidemic is taking on gay and bisexual men within Black and Latino communities.

The Task Force is currently composed of almost 50 members, alternates and consultants — all thoroughly active in the fight against AIDS. They work as paid staff or as volunteers within a range of community-based organizations. They are a multi-racial group — African-American, Latino, Asian/Pacific, White & Native Ameri­can — drawn from 25 cities. Before the CDC grant there were no paid staff. Now we have five employees working in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York.

Program goals and objectives include the following:

To conduct a national community-based survey among Black gay men. This will measure the knowledge, attitudes & behaviors (KAB) of 450 people who’re members or friends of the organization, plus an equal number of Black men who we will interview in bars or on the streets. We have trained 50 people — members and non-members — who will conduct the survey in all chapters and in at least 15 cities.

To hold safer sex risk-reduction work’n’play-shops in cities across the country. It is an extensive AIDS prevention experience specifically designed by and for gay men men of color. It covers the necessities of defining for ourselves what safer sex involves and how to negotiate it with a partner. It deals with our emotions surrounding AIDS risk and sexual transmission, including the levels of denial that we’ve all struggled with. We will later do follow-up by re-surveying and preparing reinforcement workshops, together with efforts to build a life-affirming climate of respect for cultural diversity and positive sexuality.

To develop a set of principles and a manual for partnership-building. We want to help prepare members and chapters to get more involved and to work with a variety of other community organizations — AIDS service providers, the Black churches and civic groups, the local health department, hospital and mental health service programs, other lesbian/gay organizations, and drug treatment and recovery programs — especially those based in people of color communities.

To train leaders and encourage volunteers to work on community health projects. There are so many pressing health concerns, especially in the Black community. Openly gay and bisexual men have not usually been welcomed, but the AIDS crisis may break down some of that homophobic resistance. We have a lot to contribute, if we feel empowered to do so. The Task Force has specific objectives: to train 50 gay and bisexual men of color as leaders of risk-reduction/AIDS prevention workshops and to equip at least 10 of them to act as trainers capable of training additional workshop leaders.

To develop an overall prevention model. No campaign to change an aspect of human behavior can be successful if it operates in a vacuum. We are encouraging our brothers to make positive changes in their sex lives and our chapters to act as social bases, where we can challenge and support each other to make those necessary changes in the most intimate of human interaction. This can be done only in the safest and most nurturing environments — something our chapters could be. Individual behavior change is related to self-esteem. Getting rid of risky sexual activity may become interrelated with examining other problem areas such as over-drinking or drug abuse. We want to allow our members to feel they are in control of their lives, part of the purpose of our organization.

Source: UCSF Library - AIDS History Project

UCSF Library - AIDS History Project Collections

Finding Aid to the National Task Force on AIDS Prevention, 1986-1994

Collection Summary

Collection is open for research.

National Task Force on AIDS Prevention. OAC

SNAC - Social Networks and Archival Context