BCPS observes April 10th, as National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day (NYHAAD). This annual observance is the first day set aside to recognize the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic on young people. According to the Center for Disease Control, in the United States, an estimated 22% of people diagnosed with HIV in 2014 were aged 13-24 years. Despite the disproportionate number of new HIV infections occurring among youth, the percentage tested for HIV is low compared to other age groups. Only 1 in 5 sexually experienced U.S. high school students has ever been tested for HIV.
Our schools can play a critical role in promoting the health and safety of young people. We can provide an opportunity for our students to learn about the dangers of unhealthy behaviors and to practice skills that promote a healthy lifestyle. To find out more how you can help, go to the Center for Disease Control’s webpage or to Advocates for Youth, the lead for planning the observance day. You can also access the NYHAAD site which offers a observance toolkit, ideas, graphics and other resources to help engage youth.