National Youth HIV and AIDS Awareness Day 2022


Sunday, April 10 is National Youth HIV and AIDS Awareness Day (NYHAAD) 2022. The annual observance and several events throughout the week are led by the nonprofit organization Advocates for Youth.

Nearly one in five people diagnosed with HIV in the United States in 2019 were between the ages of 13 and 24, and it is estimated that almost half of people in this age group living with HIV do not know their status, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) NYHAAD fact sheet.

Youth Awareness Day provides a chance “to educate the public about the impact of HIV and AIDS on young people”, according to Advocates for Youth. “The day also highlights youth HIV prevention, treatment and care campaigns in the United States”

For NYHAAD, the organization joins Black, Gay, Stuck at home, a group that promotes African-American LGBTQ film, to organize a virtual screening of the 2017 documentary film Check it out and a related youth panel (watch a trailer for the film at the top of this article). You can register here for the screening, which takes place tonight at 9 p.m. ET. Visit Advocates for Youth for a list of other events and programs., which maps HIV data and presents shareable graphs, provides more context to the need for HIV education and prevention among young people, writing:

Many young people at risk of contracting HIV receive insufficient sex education and experience health inequalities that are linked to low rates of testing, high rates of sexually transmitted diseases and low condom use.…

Among young people, communities of color are disproportionately affected by HIV. Compared to their white and Hispanic/Latin counterparts, young black men and women experience higher rates of HIV.

• In 2019, black men made up 54% of all young men living with HIV.

• In the same year, black women made up 61% of all young women living with HIV.

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a valuable HIV prevention tool. In 2019, young people under 24 accounted for 21% of new HIV diagnoses, but only 14% of PrEP users. Additionally, young people face challenges accessing and maintaining HIV treatment – ​​only 63% of HIV-positive young people were virally suppressed in 2019, the lowest rate of any age group.

The HIV epidemic among young people is affected by a wide range of health disparities and cultural factors, including stigma and socioeconomic challenges. Social determinants of health, such as poverty and unemployment, can negatively affect HIV-related health outcomes by creating competing priorities and hindering access to basic health care:

• In 2020, approximately 16% of young people under the age of 18 lived below the poverty line, compared to only 10% of adults.

• In the same year, 9% of young people under 19 were uninsured, up 1.6% from 2018.

To learn more about other HIV Awareness Days, including a calendar you can download and print, visit 2022 HIV/AIDS Awareness Days.

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