2016 National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

April 4, 2016

April 10th is National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Dayexternal icon (NYHAAD). It is the first national awareness day specifically focusing on the impact of HIV on youth.

HIV is a potential issue for people of any age, but many young people do not see themselves at risk and don’t know how to protect themselves from infection. In the United States, an estimated 22% of all new HIV infections diagnosed in 2014 were in young people aged 13-24 years. With expanded HIV prevention outreach and education efforts, we are working to keep a new generation of young people from becoming infected. Reducing new infections and addressing the disproportionate rate of HIV among youth are priorities in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States: Updated to 2020pdf iconexternal icon. Prevention, testing, and treatment are three elements that can make a difference.

CDC is committed to ensuring that its education and prevention efforts address HIV among youth. Schools are a critical partner in this effort to prevent and reduce HIV infection. CDC’s funded partners are working with schools to

  • Establish school-based systems for referring students to health and sexual health services within the community;
  • Increase student access to condoms using strategies such as in-school teams to promote condom access and health services referrals;
  • Incorporate information about health services into school health education curricula to build student knowledge and skills on how to access health services;
  • Collaborate with health departments to conduct onsite HIV/STD screenings, treatment, and follow up services; and
  • Produce social marketing campaigns to encourage youth to be tested for HIV and other STDs through school based-health centers that link to community resources, such as youth-friendly providers.

In addition to schools, we know that helping youth make healthy choices requires the involvement of families, communities, and many other sectors of society. On this national observance day and every day, we invite you to join CDC in its work to promote age-appropriate and medically accurate HIV prevention education through parents, youth, and community-based programs to stop the spread of HIV.

Working together to promote prevention, testing, and treatment, we will continue to make progress. I appreciate CDC’s many partners who work tirelessly to reach the goal of an AIDS-free generation.

Sincerely,

/Jonathan Mermin/
Jonathan H. Mermin, M.D., MPH
RADM and Assistant Surgeon General, USPHS
Director
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
www.cdc.gov/nchhstp

/Stephanie Zaza/
Stephanie Zaza, MD, MPH
Director, Division of Adolescent and School Health
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth

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Page last reviewed: June 28, 2016