YOUTH AT INTERNATIONAL AIDS CONFERENCE
The impact of HIV on youth and young people was a predominant theme at the 2012 International AIDS Conference in Washington DC recently. We heard encouraging news about the real possibility of achieving an AIDS-free generation. Critical to achieving that goal is reducing stigma as a means to encourage people – particularly young people - to know their HIV status and if positive, to get into care and treatment.
Having diverse young people who are living openly with HIV and sharing their experiences with others is one way to combat stigma. AIDS Alliance sponsored 5 young people to attend the conference and supported their work in putting together two workshops. The workshops were a huge success- they were both standing room only and youth from around the world participated! Voice of America (VOA) did a 3 minute video piece on the workshop – go to YouTube to view VOA: Young People Navigate Relationships, Romance, HIV.
We had many requests to share the power-points from the youth developed and youth led presentations and they are available on our website for you to download & use yourself!
Click here and go to the far right of the page under “What’s New – IAC Youth Presentation I ” for HIV Disclosure at School and the Workplace
Click here and go to the far right of the page under “What’s New- IAC Youth Presentation II ” for HIV Disclosure and Dating
Our presenters shared their personal experiences about disclosure and factors to consider.However, they stressed that they were not the experts on legal issues surrounding disclosure and encouraged participants to consult experts. They developed a HIV Disclosure Resource Guide of sixteen websites and experts regarding disclosure issues. Huge thanks to our youth team – Cristina, Dee, Jahlove, Sophia, Trell and Yuri.
National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day: Another way to combat stigma is to have more open discussions and awareness about youth and HIV and AIDS throughout the country. AIDS Alliance is a Founding Partner in the call for a National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day. We are proud to join with Advocates for Youth and others to call on President Obama, Congress, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the HIV & AIDS community to officially recognize April 10 as National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day. To add your individual name – or the name of your organization – to this call, go to http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/youthaidsday
This campaign was announced at IAC 2012. Today’s young people are the first generation who has never known a world without HIV and AIDS. In the United States, one in three new HIV infections is among youth ages 13 to 29. Despite this harsh reality, young people and their allies are determined to end this pandemic once and for all. The creation of National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day is one step towards acknowledging and addressing the needs of youth — and towards holding our leaders accountable each year as we continue this fight. Only by investing in young people in all aspects of the HIV and AIDS response will we achieve the dream of an AIDS-free generation. As Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton said at the conference: “HIV may be with us into the future, until we find a cure and a vaccine,” she said. “But the disease that HIV causes need not be with us.”
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Michelle Scavnicky: email@example.com
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