On National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NYHAAD) we recognize the important work of young people across the country to respond to the HIV epidemic and spotlight the disproportionate impact of HIV/AIDS on youth.
NYHAAD serves as a reminder that investing in young people’s health through HIV prevention and education is a critical step to end the HIV epidemic for every generation.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2016 youth (aged 13-24) had the highest percentage (44%) of individuals living with undiagnosed HIV. Further, this group had the lowest rate of viral suppression out of any age group – demonstrating a clear need for expanding awareness of and access to HIV prevention, testing, and treatment services for young people.
One of the most effective tools to reduce new HIV diagnoses is PrEP or, pre-exposure prophylaxis. PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, is when people at risk for HIV take HIV medicine daily to lower their chances of getting infected with HIV. While PrEP use among youth (aged 24 and under) increased by 45% from 2017 to 2018, young people still underutilized PrEP in comparison to the burden of new HIV diagnoses among this age group. This significant disparity in PrEP use illustrates the need for comprehensive strategies to increase awareness and access to PrEP – especially for the youngest and most vulnerable in our communities.
On National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, get involved and join the fight against HIV:
- EDUCATE FAMILY AND FRIENDS: View our local statistics to see how HIV impacts your community.
- LEARN MORE: Check out CDC’s page on HIV Among Youth to learn about the prevention challenges among youth.
- GET TESTED: Visit org/testing to find a testing site near you.
- FIND PREVENTION: Use AIDSVu’s PrEP locator to find a local PrEP provider.