For the sixth and final episode of Theory in the Flesh, I’m in conversation with Dr Oni Blackstock, the Assistant Commissioner for the Bureau of HIV at the New York City Department of Health. In 2018, doctors diagnosed 1,917 people with HIV – a 67% decline from the number of diagnoses in 2001.
I reached out to Dr Blackstock to understand what precipitated such a historic drop in new HIV diagnoses in New York City and how she and her colleagues at the Bureau of HIV have been able to intervene so successfully in the lives of those disproportionately impacted by HIV. We discuss the years-long work of building trust among marginalised communities, the many ways the city addresses and accounts for structural inequalities and disparities in HIV outreach, and the parallels between Covid-19 and the ongoing HIV epidemic. Dr Blackstock makes clear that it takes large teams working at the city level, substantive funding at all levels of government and consistent engagement with and funding of grassroots and community organisations to deliver health interventions that work for all.
Busy Being Black is the podcast exploring how we live in the fullness of our queer Black lives and Theory in the Flesh is made possible with funding from the British Podcast Awards fund and Wellcome Trust. Please show your support for Busy Being Black, by taking a few minutes to share your feedback at podcastviews.com.