HIV Activists Lead Charge to End AIDS in Washington

HIV Activists Lead Charge to End AIDS in Washington

- in Top News, Health, Local
On April 18, Youth HIV Activists Will Host Educational Community Forum in Celebration of National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 
Photo: Lifelong
Photo: Lifelong

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. Nationally, April 10 is commemorated as National HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NYHAAD).

“This may be just one day, but for those of us who are living with HIV, taking our antiretrovirals each day is a constant reminder that the crisis is not over,” said Manuel Vengas, the Seattle NYHAAD Youth Ambassador from Advocates for Youth, a national non-profit that helps young people make informed and responsible decisions about their reproductive and sexual health.

On April 18, Seattle area youth HIV activists will host a free educational community forum in recognition of NYHAAD from 1-3 p.m. at the Central Library Downtown. The event is open to the public (RSVP: Aleksa Manila, a popular local drag personality, will host. There will also 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
Brandyn Gallagher, PrEP Facts: Rethinking Prevention and Sex

Additionally, there will be educational modules focusing on the following topics:

PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophyaxsis), Brandyn Gallagher, PrEP Facts
State of HIV Prevention in 2015, Michael Barnes, Lifelong
Harm Reduction Basics, Project Neon Peer Educators

“It’s a new era of HIV care and prevention,” stated 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.”

The event is presented in partnership with the #MyHIVMoment campaign, a collaborative effort of Lifelong, the Center for Multicultural Health, Entre Hermanos, Gay City Men’s Health, Seattle Counseling Services, and We Are 1.



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