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National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Source: Courtesy of iOne / iONEDigital


Go on a journey with Anna DeShawn to explore the history, economics, and culture of HIV/AIDS in the Black community. Through interviews and personal stories Anna and her co-host, Duane Cramer, explore the shame, stigma, and solutions.

In this episode, Anna and Duane discuss the collective response of the Black community from the early days of the AIDS epidemic to now. They are joined by experts Nathan Townsend and Jimmie Gibbs, who shed light on the response of the Black church, or lack thereof, and how the LGBTQ+ community came together to save themselves.


About Our Guests

Nathan Townsend

Nathan Townsend is the HIV prevention programs manager for The National AIDS Education & Services for Minorities (NAESM). The organization was formed in 1990 and is one of the first African American community based non-profit organizations to stand on the frontlines in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Atlanta, Georgia.


Rev. Jimmy Gibbs

Rev. Jimmy Gibbs began his work in the field of HIV/AIDS in 1983 as a caregiver for his best friend in the beginning of the epidemic. He is an HIV/ AIDS community advocate working to secure housing and supportive services serving on the UNC CFAR CAB board and the National CFAR CAB Coalition serving as Chair of the Executive Committee. He is a member of Good Shepherd United Church of Christ in Cary, North Carolina.

About Our Hosts

Anna DeShawn

Anna DeShawn is a Chicago-born social entrepreneur who builds digital media platforms that center & celebrate BIPOC & QTPOC creatives. She received her bachelor’s in radio/television production from Drake University and then went on to receive her master’s in communications from Ithaca College. Anna spent 12 years in the digital media space producing webinars and virtual events for government and corporate clients alike. Media has always been Anna’s passion so she turned her passion into a reality when she founded E3 Radio, LLC. E3 Radio is an online radio station playing queer music & reporting on queer news in high rotation with an intersectional lens. Most recently, she co-founded The Qube, a curated app of music & podcasts by BIPOC & QTPOC creatives. Anna is determined to ride media into its next era by utilizing online radio streams to play the music & tell the stories that deserve to be heard.



Tik Tok:



Duane Cramer

Since being diagnosed with HIV 27 years ago, Duane Cramer has become a tireless advocate for HIV awareness and education, using his photography and creative skills to bring attention to the disease. Duane is an internationally known, award-winning photographer. He is well known for his photography-based HIV awareness visuals, and particularly for his efforts in the African-American community, which has been disproportionately affected by HIV. In addition, his poignant photos of dignitaries, celebrities and everyday-individuals gracefully capture the humanity of his subjects. Duane’s work, which has been favorably compared to the late Gordon Parks and Herb Ritts for his compelling black and white imagery, has been published around the world.







Words in Black, “We’re Still Fighting to End HIV in the Black Community” –

The Forward, “The “L” In LGBT, And Why Order Matters” –

Southern AIDS Coalition –

Saving Ourselves Symposium –

Change the Pattern Initiative, National AIDS Memorial –

Call My Name Project, National AIDS Memorial –

The National AIDS Education & Services for Minorities, Inc. (NAESM, Inc.) –

Ending Criminalization of HIV and Overincarceration in Virginia (ECHO VA) –

National CFAR CAB Coalition –

AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Prep for Love –



More about the podcast:

Today, HIV doesn’t have the same hold it once did due to tireless advocacy, funding, and science. People aren’t dying at alarming rates but we still haven’t met the goal of zero new infections. It’s a preventable disease that doesn’t have a cure but it does have solutions. So, why do Black people in the South comprise 38% of the population but 52% of all new HIV infections? How has what reportedly began in California in 1981 found its way to the South in 2022? This is what we will explore in this podcast Black HIV in the South: How Did We Get Here?





Black HIV in the South: How Did We Get Here? is a production of The Qube. The Qube is a podcast production company and curated platform to discover the best BIPOC & QTPOC podcasts. Begin discovering at and follow @thequbeapp across social.  

Produced by Latrice Sampson Richards of STS Productions (

Podcast Editing by Xperience J of Shhh! Jus’ Listen Media (

Research Contributor – Nicole Holmes, National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD), Manager of Health Equities

Podcast Fact Checker – Timothy S. Jackson, Director of Government Relations at AIDS Foundation of Chicago

RELATED CONTENTThe Fear Of HIV In The South Has Fueled Its Spread

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