SisterLove Recognizes National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

This National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day, things look pretty different.

But even amid our country’s current crises, we are more committed than ever to celebrating, supporting, and advocating alongside young people living with and impacted by HIV. We’re still showing up, and we hope you will too! Join us over on Instagram (@advocatesforyouth) as we highlight youth activists, partners, and advocacy opportunities.

National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day (NYHAAD), annually on April 10th, is a day to educate the public about the impact of HIV and AIDS on young people. The day also highlights the HIV prevention, treatment, and care campaigns of young people in the U.S.

Why is NYHAAD important?

Today’s young people are the first generation who have never known a world without HIV and AIDS. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that in 2018, youth aged 13 to 24 made up 21% of the 37,832 new HIV diagnoses in the United States (US) and dependent areas. Young people living with HIV are the least likely of any age group to be retained in care and have a suppressed viral load. Addressing the impact of HIV on young people requires they have access to affirming, culturally competent, and medically accurate resources and tools.

What is the NYHAAD Collective?

The National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day (NYHAAD) Collective is comprised of youth activists leading HIV prevention, treatment, and care campaigns in their communities. Their campaigns highlight the challenges faced by young people living with and impacted by HIV, offer insight on how they combat stigma and discrimination on local, state, and federal levels, and enhance the awareness among physicians, policymakers, and youth-serving organization staff, etc. about the existing disparities.

What are the campaign demands?

  • Increasing empathy and reducing stigma about HIV and its impact on young people on campus and in communities

  • Affirming policies around HIV care, treatment, and prevention on campus and in communities

  • Decriminalizing HIV

  • Accessing HIV services, including pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), on-campus and in communities without parental consent;

  • Updating sex education curricula, which includes medically accurate information about HIV.

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