is April 10!
Prioritize Young People
AIDS.gov - Information and
resources about HIV and AIDS
What is National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day?
National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day is a day to educate the public about the impact of HIV and AIDS on young people as well as highlight the amazing work young people are doing across the country to fight the HIV & AIDS epidemic.
When is National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day?
National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day is an annual observance that takes place on April 10. The first ever National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day took place on April 10, 2013.
Why is National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day important?
Today’s young people are the first generation who have never known a world without HIV and AIDS. In the United States, one in four new HIV infections is among youth ages 13 to 24. Every month 1,000 young people are infected with HIV and over 76,400 young people are currently living with HIV across the country. While there has been much talk about an AIDS-Free Generation, we know that is not possible without our nation’s youth. Young people and their allies are determined to end this epidemic once and for all and this day is a way to acknowledge the great work young people are already engaging in to do so.
Where will National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day be celebrated?
National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day will be celebrated all across the country. There will be events hosted by various organizations and individuals in high schools, colleges, churches, community centers and more! There also will be opportunities for online participation.
How do I commemorate National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day?
National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day is an opportunity to learn about HIV & AIDS and how young people are affected. It is also an opportunity to show support for the cause while educating others. You could send tweets, host an event, get tested, table on your campus, and more! Check out the resources toolkit for more ideas on ways to engage.
How do I prepare?
If you plan on hosting an event, make sure to plan adequately so that there is enough time to get the word out and organize whatever resources that you might need. If you are hosting an event, make sure you have a venue and an agenda. Check out the resources toolkit for more information.
How do I find events near me for National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day?
Check out our events map to find an event registered near you. If you do not see an event, think about hosting your own!
How do I get other young people to participate?
Spread the word via social media, word of mouth, or hand out flyers in your area. Share some facts with your peers and stress the importance of National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day. Follow us on twitter, and like us on facebook to get updates on more resources as the day approaches!
5 Things You Can Do for NYHAAD
Are you looking for ways to participate in National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day? Here are 5 easy ways to get to you started!
HIV & AIDS FAQ
HIV is a virus which causes AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). AIDS weakens the body's immune system (your defense against infections) so that it loses the ability to fight off infection and illnesses.
How is HIV transmitted?
How can someone get tested for HIV?
What are some strategies to reduce the risk of HIV transmission?
Where did HIV come from?
Do all people with HIV have AIDS? Does having HIV mean you will become sick immediately?
How many people in the US are living with HIV?
How many young people in the US are infected with HIV?
For more info check out:
Ask President Obama to prioritize youth in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy
Young people are the only segment of the population for whom HIV rates continue to increase in this country. We ask President Obama to prioritize youth in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy by calling for improved sex education for all youth and targeted evidence-based HIV prevention, treatment and care interventions for youth from communities with disproportionate risk for HIV.
Download this petition
to get more signatures!
Youth Ambassador Program
What is the National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day (NYHAAD) Youth Ambassador Program? The National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day (NYHAAD) Youth Ambassador Program consists of young leaders and activists who come together to promote prevention, treatment, care, and youth empowerment.
Meet the 2015 Youth Ambassadors!
My passion for serving others through volunteer work has driven my personal and professional growth. I began volunteering as a crisis call counselor for Crisis Intervention of Houston my sophomore year of college, where I learned so much about what it means to help people and the definition of a crisis. I gained cultural competency, and stronger communication skills. I believe the strongest lifelong skill I developed was my sense of compassion for helping others.
This past semester at the University of Houston, I was fortunate enough to take Human Sexuality as an accredited course for my Psychology major. The professor I took was highly involved in the LGBTQI community and completely opened my eyes to a community of people in need of stronger advocacy. Furthermore, I was educated on STIs, HIV & AIDS. During this semester, I was also a SafeSite for The Great American Condom Campaign, and was using my knowledge to educate my peers while I distributed condoms. Ultimately, this semester left me even more motivated to continue as a Sexual Health Advocate in order to prevent infections and ultimately save lives.
I believe serving as an Ambassador for Youth’s National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day, I will be able to help more people in the Houston area with accurate information to help prevention and ultimately build a better understanding in my community.
Amber is a, 22-year old Black queer woman, hailing from the beautiful state of South Carolina. During her undergraduate years at Bethune-Cookman University, she co-founded their Gay-Straight Alliance while earning a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. Amber also joined Gamma Sigma Sigma National Service Sorority Incorporated during this time, allowing her to take her social activism into the Daytona Beach community. She is continuing her studies at the University in pursuit of a Masters of Science in Transformative Leadership, which allows her to stay connected to her previous efforts. One of these efforts that envelopes Amber’s passion regards the advocacy surrounding HIV & AIDS.
Amber’s desire to become more involved with HIV & AIDS programs occurred in 2010 during a phone call with a friend. This friend admitted that after having unprotected sex with a partner who later tested positive for HIV, he feared his own status. Though her friend tested negative, Amber reminded him of the importance of preventative measures during all sexual encounters. Motivated after supporting her friend in his moment of uncertainty, she vowed to become more deeply invested in self-care and health education among youth. Ever since, she has been involved in community outreach for HIV & AIDS programs. Because she moves in a diverse spread of social spaces, she is able to advocate for this important cause in several arenas.
Stigma and misinformation often clouds judgement and keeps at-risk communities from necessary access to information. Though past misconception about the spread of HIV has been debunked, Amber has seen that misinformation still plagues many communities. And in spaces where individuals are abundantly clear about the possible methods of contracting the virus, contraceptives and knowledge of one’s status keep people from being fully empowered. Amber’s health activism was most recently displayed in a community center event for LGBTQIA youth. The “Fade To Red: HIV/AIDS Awareness” program connected Amber to a receptive group of young people willing to make changes to their sexual behaviors. During this forum, she conducted a presentation on STI and communicable disease-prevention techniques and treatment options. She felt most rewarded during her segment on contraceptives as attendees pledged to incorporate these preventative measures into their lives.
Amber prides herself in having an infinite impact. She believes that her work is strengthened in her deviant radical perspective and the creation of empowering spaces allows others to adopt brave stances. She understands the importance of bridging gaps between communities of color and the LGBTQIA to incite change and inclusion. Her work is deeply rooted in the LGBTQIA community and communities of color working in social justice and reproductive rights. Through her efforts and advocacy, Amber strives to encourage youth to respect their authentic selves and the authentic selves of the people around them. Her goal in the National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day Youth Ambassador Program is to empower her generation to build on the understanding of HIV & AIDS, addressing the statistics while working toward a cure.
Anndrekia Maha is currently a sophomore at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia where she is a Psychology major with a French minor on the pre-law track. Anndrekia is an active campus member who is involved in several organizations on campus both multicultural and heath related. She has previously worked with Advocates for Youth as a GACC SafeSite for both spring and fall 2014. Anndrekia is very passionate about youth being involved in making decisions about their own health. She is a huge advocate of safe sex and smart choices.
Growing up in Birmingham, AL Brandon King always considered himself educated across all spectrums, it wasn’t until college that he realized he didn’t know as much about HIV until he continued to meet people who was infected and affected by the virus. After graduating from Alabama A&M University with a degree in marketing, Brandon was hired at the AIDS Alabama intervention program, Elite Project, which focuses on the health and leadership abilities of young gay and bisexual men of color between the ages on 13-29. Knowing the growing rate of HIV infections among young, black, same-gender-loving men, he wanted to help combat the stigma and the lack of conversation about HIV/AIDS in the community. After being diagnosed in January of 2011, Brandon used his story to help other positive and negative young men & women are vocal about getting tested and knowing their own HIV status. He uses his position at Elite to help educate the MSM community about HIV and works hard every day to find new and creative ways to empower others. Mahatma Gandhi stated “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” and that is what Brandon intends to do until all around him is educated and encouraged to fight!
Katherine Kasserman is a social work graduate student in the Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois in Chicago. Katherine currently works with young men and women of Chicago communities to provide professional development and community service opportunities through the Youth as Resources project of Chicago Area Project. Katherine is dedicated to the empowerment of young people to overcome adversity and reach their full potential.
Khalil Kelley is a 16 year old homosexual male from Denver Colorado. He is a junior in high school, and has been passionate about HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention from a young age. His aunt informed him that she was HIV positive at the age of 10. Ever since then, he has been highly involved with HIV awareness. Every summer, he attends Camp Kindle, a summer camp that focuses on HIV prevention and education. His experiences at camp have taught him to be more empathetic to individuals living with HIV/AIDS. Khalil’s passion is to reduce the stigma and abuse that individuals who are affected by HIV/AIDS endure on a daily basis. He is excited to become more involved with the HIV/AIDS community and is hoping to learn more about different ways to reach youth affected by HIV/AIDS in his community. Khalil is an avid facebooker, enjoys spending time with his friends, cooking, and music.
I am a first generation, Mexican-American, gay, 22 year old. I was born and raised in Moses Lake, WA and am going on my fifth year of living in Seattle. Community involvement, youth sexual education and advocacy through the Lifelong AIDS Alliance made for a great combination for me to become the vice president of the Queer-Straight Alliance at my college. I am also an associate for the Associated Student Council in student government. I am in my second year of college wrapping up a degree in business administration at Seattle Central College. My major is international business with an emphasis on biosciences. My long-term goal is to go to medical school to study HIV/AIDS and become a scientist with a business background. I spend most of my free time in relaxation mode, which includes activities such as going to the gym, running, yoga, and reading.
I am a 16 year old male, Asian- American, junior at high school currently living in Redwood City, California. I am first generation American as both of my parents are immigrants from China. I’m also a highly competitive swimmer that wishes that someday will swim for college.
I first got interested in sexual education and awareness in eighth grade when I participated in sex ed class. Being in an Asian household my parents never told me about sex or anything related to it, so I eventually figured out these things on my own. I was given an opportunity to showcase my interest in this field during freshmen year of highschool where the Youth Advisory Group were looking for fresh and excited applicants. I immediately applied and was accepted. To this day I loved everything we did about the club from participating in outreach to having daily meetings, it is a really fun experience. From this club, this motivated me to go even further and when I heard about this NYHAAD program, I immediately took on this opportunity. I hope to make a tremendous contribution by spreading awareness and teaching others.
Nicole Holmes is a 21 year old senior at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville studying Community Health Education. She enjoys working in sexual health in areas such as STI prevention, outreach, and reproductive justice. She works with various organizations such as Advocates for Youth and the Illinois Choice Action Team (ICAT). She hopes to open her own clinic that educates students about sexual health as well as sexuality education. A fun fact about is Nicole is that she is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
Thomas Davis was born April 12, 1992. He grew up in Estes Park Colorado where he started acting, singing and dancing from a very early age. In 2010, Davis move to Los Angeles to study at AMDA College and Conservatory of the Arts where he received his BFA in Performing Arts Dance Theater.
After being diagnosed with HIV in 2013 Davis immediately took a positive approach to where he would go from there. He wanted to use his story to inspire others. At the beginning of 2014, he released a video of his testimony of being a healthy, happy individual regardless of his status. Since then he has teamed up with Patrick Ingram and Adrian Neil-Hobson in creating thepozlife.com to educate the public about HIV and encourage those living with the virus. Since than The POZ Life team has grown and is currently making plans on how to navigate 2015.
Davis has been involved with AIDS Project Los Angeles new testing initiative R3VNG (Reshaping 3 Letters through the Voices of the Now Generation). The group created web series called “Truth be Told,” in which they discuss HIV, prevention, and several other issues in the gay black community. Davis is also a youth ambassador for the human rights campaign.
Currently, Davis teaches at the Lula Washington Dance Theater and is on tour with the professional company for their 35th anniversary celebration. He recently started dancing with The Lucent Dossier Experience. Regardless of his status Davis has always followed his dreams and passion.
Hello my name is Uzo Okoro, a junior at Brown University majoring in Public Health, and I'm currently enrolled in a combined AB/MD program. Throughout my study abroad semester in India, South Africa, and Brazil this past fall, HIV/AIDS was an issue that was continually discussed. My study abroad program began in Washington, D.C., which has one of the highest rates of HIV/AIDS in the country. In DC, I had the opportunity to go to an organization titled Metro Teen AIDS, an advocacy and support group for HIV positive youth and an avenue to educate others about sexual risk behaviors. Before this experience, I did not realize how significant HIV/AIDS was within the United States, especially among the youth. For this reason, I knew it was important to educate others about the difficulty in access to care that many youth in this country face in addition to the other vulnerabilities that youth, in particular, often experience.
Furthermore, when I was in South Africa, I lived in a historically black township, a residual effect of apartheid, which had extremely high rates of HIV/AIDS. This particular experience demonstrated the importance of prevention and education about sexual risk behaviors, for many people in the community had, and even died of, HIV, but many others still struggled to use condoms and other preventative measures regularly.
At Brown University, I am a member of the Sexual Health Awareness Group (SHAG). As a member of SHAG, I participate in sexual peer education, which includes hosting inclusive workshops about sexuality, gender identities, pregnancy/STD prevention, healthy relationships, communication, consent, and various other issues relating to sex and health. I am also currently conducting research through my university about HIV/AIDS. My research project, titled HIV/AIDS, Alcohol, and Sexual Risk Behaviors in Nigeria: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis, focuses on the prevalence and relationship between HIV/AIDS and other sexual risk behaviors, including alcohol. While I do value research, I also feel responsible and am motivated to see what resources and tools on the ground and in communities are being used to mediate and combat this issue, which furthered my interest in this program.
What can my group do to observe NYHAAD? Use these awesome resources and ideas for events to jumpstart your day.
Fast Facts About HIV Printouts
Download and share these fast facts about HIV!
Ideas for Great NYHAAD Events
Create a Social Sharing Campaign!
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Host a Candlelight Vigil
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Hold a candlelight vigil to raise awareness about HIV & AIDS and honor young people who have been impacted by this epidemic. Outdoor locations work best for this kind of event. During the vigil, you could invite speakers to talk about the importance of HIV & AIDS advocacy, or just have young people share their personal stories.
You'll need: Venue, candles, lighters or matches.
Plan a Flash Mob
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Flash mobs have become increasingly popular and are a great way to get people's attention in a creative manner. This kind of event requires commitment and a lot of planning in order to get dance routines and timing correct.
For costumes, you can wear red t-shirts or decorate shirts with an AIDS ribbon or the NYHAAD logo!
Host a Film Screening
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If you have access to a theater or even just a room and projector, a movie screening is an ideal event to highlight the impact of HIV & AIDS. This event could be held at a number of venues including college campuses, churches and community centers. It is even possible to ask local theaters to screen the movie or donate space during off-peak hours. There are a great variety of films to choose from and even films with more complicated representations of HIV/AIDS can create an excellent opportunity for a post screening discussion. You could hold a panel discussion afterwards or simply start one with the audience.
You'll need: Venue, copy of a film about HIV/AIDS, discussion guide, DVD player/television/projector, handouts.
Open Mic/Poetry Slam
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Open Mic events are a great opportunity to gather people with commonalities in a shared struggle. Centered around youth and HIV/AIDS, have people sign up to share poetry, spoken word, rap lyrics, or even songs.
Make sure to efficiently promote and plan this event so that participants have time to sign-up and prepare material. Alternatively, this could be done online with people submitting text and video to a website or Facebook page.
You'll need: Fliers (paper & electronic), venue, rules (act length, topic, etc.), sign-up sheet, emcee, judges (if appropriate), Facebook page/website.
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If you're a student on a college/high school campus, you could set up a booth or table for NYHAAD. Make sure it's in a high-traffic area so people will see you as they walk by. For instance, in front of the cafeteria or inside the student center. You could also set up somewhere in your community. Like a grocery store or shopping center.
At the table, make sure to have NYHAAD resources and other HIV/AIDS related informational material to hand out to passersby. If you are part of an organization, tabling is a good opportunity to recruit new members or collect email addresses for a periodical newsletter.
Recent news and commentary on HIV/AIDS.