March Health Equity Link

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

u s department of health and human services - office of minority health

March 2021  |  View as a webpage

Health Equity Link Banner 2020

In this Issue

National Minority Health Month 2021

National Minority Health Month 2021

April is National Minority Health Month (NMHM), and the theme for this year’s observance is #VaccineReady. The Office of Minority Health (OMH) will focus on the impacts COVID-19 is having on racial and ethnic minority and American Indian and Alaska Native communities and underscoring the need for these vulnerable communities to get vaccinated as more vaccines become available.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), certain vulnerable populations, such as non-Hispanic African Americans, individuals living in nonmetropolitan areas, and adults with lower levels of education, income or who do not have health insurance, have a higher likelihood of forgoing getting vaccinated.

Throughout April, OMH will empower vulnerable populations to get the facts about COVID-19 vaccines, share accurate vaccine information, participate in clinical trials, get vaccinated when the time comes, and proactively practice COVID-19 safety measures.

For more information, tools and resources to prepare for upcoming observance activities, visit the NMHM webpage, also available in Spanish, and sign up for the National Minority Health Month topic on our email list for updates.

Learn More

COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force

COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force

In February, the Biden Administration announced the individuals who will serve as non-federal members of the Biden-Harris COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force. As part of Executive Order 13995, Ensuring an Equitable Pandemic Response and Recovery, issued on January 21, the Task Force will be part of the government-wide effort to identify and eliminate health and social disparities that result in disproportionately higher rates of exposure, illness, hospitalization and death related to COVID-19.

To learn more about the Task Force, its members and upcoming meetings, visit the COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force webpage on the OMH website.

Learn More

National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. This observance, which is led by the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, is designed to highlight the importance of colorectal cancer screening, prevention, and treatment.

Screening is the number one way to prevent colorectal cancer, which according to the CDC, is the second deadliest cancer among men and women combined.

Routine screening is recommended beginning at age 50 because the risk for colorectal cancer increases with age. Additionally, medical professionals often recommend a diet low in animal fats and high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains as a way to help lower risk.

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the number of colorectal cancer screenings has declined. This month take the pledge to get screened and encourage your friends and family to do the same.

Learn More

National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day – March 10

National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

March 10 is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. The observance is led by the Office on Women’s Health, and this year’s theme is “You, Me, We - Changing the Face of HIV.”

The goal of this observance is not only to increase awareness about HIV/AIDS, but to also spark conversations, and highlight the work being done to reduce HIV among women and girls in the United States and to support those living with the disease.

According to CDC, HIV and AIDS are still widespread public health issues, and women remain vulnerable to infection — particularly Black/African American and Hispanic/Latina women.

Here are steps you can take to protect yourself, your partner, your friends, and your family from HIV infection:

  • Get an HIV test, which is free and confidential. To find a location, visit
  • Practice safe sex.
  • If you are HIV-negative and your partner is HIV-positive, talk to a doctor about taking pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a daily pill that can reduce your risk of getting HIV from sex by more than 90 percent. Find a PrEP provider near you at

Learn More

National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day – March 20

National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is held on the first day of Spring to encourage American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) across the United States and Territorial Areas to get educated, get tested, get involved in prevention and get treated for HIV. This year’s observance will take place on March 20 and the theme is “Zero is Possible Together: Innovation + Awareness.”

The rate of HIV/AIDS in the AI/AN population is significant, and stigma and fear can keep people from seeking help. According to the CDC, from 2010 to 2017, the number of new HIV diagnoses increased 39 percent among AI/AN communities. And four out of every five infected knew they had the virus.

Getting tested is the first step in protecting your health and stopping the spread of the virus to others.

For more information about HIV/AIDS prevention and treatments, testing services and downloadable materials, visit the Indian Health Service National HIV/AIDS Program webpage.

Learn More

Knowledge Center

knowledge center see our newest acquisitions

The OMH Knowledge Center online catalog includes a collection of publications related to HIV/AIDS in minorities. To learn more and help decrease HIV/AIDS challenges for American Indians/Alaska Natives, women, and girls, visit the online catalog and search their selection of recently published HIV/AIDS reports.

Learn More

scd 2019