April 10th is National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in the US, and it coincides this year with National Public Health Week 2021 (#NPHW if you want to see what people are saying on social media). This year, we’re amplifying the Ending the Epidemics Coalition’s @EndEpidemicsCA message; their budget proposal calls for funding the prevention and treatment of HIV, STIs, viral hepatitis, and drug overdoses, with harm reduction as their guiding framework.
Prevention is key for young people, who are the group of people living with HIV that are least likely to be retained in care, and make up 21% of the 37,832 new HIV diagnoses in the US. A major component of WORLD’s ongoing program to address the rising rates of HIV and STIs among women and girls of color in California is the SUN project. We partner with CAL-PEP, Girls Inc. of Alameda County, and The Latina Center to provide evidenced-based behavioral interventions to young women that empower them to set boundaries, advocate for themselves in relationships, and make informed decisions about their sexual health.
We’d also like to call attention to East Bay Representative Barbara Lee’s reintroduction of legislation that establishes April 10th as #NYHAAD and calls on state and local governments to “improve access to treatment and resources” for youth. You can find the full text of the press release here, including a link to the full text of the bill: https://lee.house.gov/news/press-releases/congresswoman-barbara-lee-reintroduces-legislation-marking-national-youth-hiv/aids-awareness-day
We’d also encourage you to check out the great work that Advocates for Youth are doing to direct this observance – their values statement is listed below, and they have lots of actions you can take to help ensure that we do one day live in a world in which youth can live free from HIV discrimination.