National Youth HIV and AIDS Awareness Day 2020

Friday, April 10 marks National Youth HIV and AIDS Awareness Day (NYHAAD) 2020. It is an opportunity to highlight the HIV needs and challenges of young people and to raise awareness about testing, prevention and to treatment.

One of the challenges facing young people living with HIV is the transition from pediatric to adult care. This usually happens by the age of 25 and puts them at risk of no longer being taken care of. To make sure the transition is as smooth as possible, Advocates for Youth, the organization that started NYHAAD seven years ago, has released the Medical Mentorship Toolkit & Guide.

According to the guide, mentoring helps young people living with HIV develop the confidence and skills to navigate the health system. Available by email, the toolkit was developed to help organizations and individuals who work with HIV-positive youth aged 13-24.

“Young people aged 13 to 24 have always known a world with HIV,” writes Advocates for Youth of the importance of the mentoring toolkit. “Although current scientific advances in prevention and treatment have dramatically reduced the number of new infections, young people remain disproportionately affected. In the United States, 1 in 5 new HIV diagnoses were among young people in this age group, and only half know their status. Young people also have low rates of HIV testing and are the least likely to be connected to HIV care after a positive test. Young people living with HIV are also less likely to stay in care or have viral suppression.

You can download graphics to promote NYHAAD and the Mentoring Toolkit at AdvocatesForYouth.org.

In related news, see POZ article “Unique Needs of Young People in HIV Programs Forced to Go Virtual”.




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