On June 5th 1981, the Center for Disease Control reported the first cases of what we now know as HIV/AIDS. In the past thirty years, we have seen remarkable progress in the treatment and care for HIV+ individuals leading to longer, healthier lives. But we continue to see the great need for prevention resources and access to life-saving to medication.
Unfortunately, as thirty years of HIV rolls upon us in Ohio, and the Greater Cleveland area in particular, we are seeing increases of STDs and HIV in youth and young adults under the age of thirty, according to the Cleveland Public Health Department.
Lawrence, an Ohio Advocate at 19, is an outspoken HIV/AIDS activist, regularly speaking before hundreds of Ohio and Greater Cleveland area youth. Recently, he was interviewed by his local NPR radio station to describe his reaction of finding out he was HIV+ at age 17 – twenty eight years after the first HIV/AIDS diagnosis was reported. Listen to the interview here.
Thank you Lawrence for speaking out, being the voice of young people living with HIV, and fighting the stigma!