NTFAP Mission Statement (1988)

Mission Statement

The National Task Force on AIDS Prevention, a project of the National Association, Black and White Men Together (NABWMT) is organized to provide education to its members, as well as gay and bisexual men of color in our communities.

The Task Force is committed to conducting risk reduction workshops and basic research, such as knowledge, attitude and behavior (KAB) studies.

We also seek to network and build partnerships with other groups similarly committed to HIV prevention and intervention programs within people of color communities.

We see AIDS education and our work falling into three distinct categories:

Programs to prevent HIV transmission and to reduce the rates of new infection. This involves teaching our people the basics of how HIV is passed from person to person, as well as the practical skills necessary for individual protection.

Programs aimed at early intervention in the disease process. This involves coun­selling our people about HIV antibody testing— what it means and what it doesn’t mean. For those who are HIV-positive, we believe in finding appropriate ways of utilizing the healthcare system and making It more responsive to our needs. To­gether we can improve the quality of life for people with HIV infection, we can live longer and experience fewer opportunistic infections, and ultimately, we can save lives through early healthcare intervention.

Programs aimed at preventing or reducing alcohol and substance abuse. This in­volves dealing directly with the most significant set of co-factors for death from AIDS. Far too many of our people have been inculturated with self-destructive be­havior patterns that contribute to many additional health risks and death much more quickly than for non-users. Alcohol and substance abuse can also translate into a breakdown of commitment to safer sex, thus leading to transmission of HIV.

We have leamed from experience that all AIDS education plans and probably all health education plans have to be culturally sensitive and appropriately targeted to our communities — even to specific segments within our communities.

Most of the advances in AIDS prevention, services, long-term care, and now even research have come from groups working at the grassroots level in our communities. Government has lagged far behind.

But, if we are ever to develop a coordinated strategy for confronting the challenges of the AIDS epidemic, we have to do some soul-searching. We believe it is time to put aside differences and work together. We need to realize that only community organizations net-working with each other and with all levels of government can get the job done.

Our communities desperately need a coordinated plan of attack against AIDS. We as open, proud gay men of color are stepping forward to be involved and to work with others. We hope to work with all of you.

National Task Force on AIDS Prevention of the National Associatlon, Black & White Men Together

273 Church St. • San Francisco, CA 94114