According to the Washington State Department of Health, in Seattle, one in eight new HIV diagnoses occurs among youth ages 13-24. In 2014 Mayor Ed Murray declared the entire month of April as National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Month in response to this alarming health issue impacting youth and young adults in Seattle and across the country.
On April 18, Seattle area youth HIV activists will host a free educational community forum in recognition of National HIV/AIDS Awareness Day from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. at the Central Library Downtown – 1000 Fourth Avenue in Seattle.
The event will feature an honest dialogue about HIV and AIDS stigma affecting youth communities as well as prevention efforts. There will be a panel consisting of the following individuals: Tranisha Arzah, BABES Network-YWCA; Manuel Venegas, NYHAAD Ambassador, Advocates for Youth; Bas Frost, Lifelong’s HEYO, Peace for the Streets by Kids for the Streets; and Brandyn Gallagher, PrEP Facts: Rethinking Prevention and Sex. In addition, there will also be educational modules focusing on the following topics: PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophyaxsis), State of HIV Prevention in 2015, and Harm Reduction Basics.
“It’s a new era of HIV care and prevention,” states Michael Barnes, Program Coordinator for Lifelong’s youth program. “Health care reform has improved access to care. Science and medicine have created new prevention and treatment options. Let’s work together with young people to harness their energy and passion to end this disease once and for all.”