April 10th is National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day (NYHAAD). It is the first awareness day to recognize the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic specifically on young people. This annual observance was created by Advocates for Youth and other partners to educate the public about the impact of HIV and AIDS on young people as well as highlight the exceptional work young people are doing across the country to strengthen the fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic. This observance aligns with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) efforts to 1) prevent HIV, other STDs, and teen pregnancy and promote lifelong health among young people and 2) address the needs of young people related to HIV/AIDS prevention.
HIV/AIDS is a serious threat to anyone of any age, but even more so for youth. In the United States, young people aged 13 to 24 accounted for an estimated 26% of all new HIV infections in 2010. Nearly 60% of new infections in youth occur in African Americans, about 20% in Hispanics/Latinos, and about 20% in whites. Although a disproportionate number of new HIV infections occur among youth, the percentage of youth tested for HIV is low compared to other age groups. In fact, only 1 in 5 sexually experienced U.S. high school students has ever been tested for HIV.
In observance of NYHAAD, CDC is engaging in several activities that highlight the importance of youth HIV prevention. These activities include –
- CDC NPIN Twitter Chat with HIV.gov, Advocates for Youth, and M·A·C AIDS Fund scheduled for 4:00 pm ET on Wednesday, April 8th. Join us on #NPINChat.
- Congressional briefing in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, April 9th (with the DASH Director, Rep. Barbara Lee, and Advocates for Youth)
- Announcement in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report recognizing NYHAAD
- CDC Web Feature on youth HIV awareness
We thank our many partners across the country as we work together to achieve an AIDS-free generation.
Jonathan H. Mermin, M.D., M.P.H.Director, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB PreventionCenters for Disease Control and Preventionwww.cdc.gov/nchhstpStephanie Zaza
Stephanie Zaza, MD, MPHDirector, Division of Adolescent and School HealthNational Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB PreventionCenters for Disease Control and Preventionwww.cdc.gov/healthyyouth