NYHAAD: Empowering Youth to Protect Their Sexual Health and Autonomy

Apr 10, 2020 | Kim Rodgers

National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day (NYHAAD), held annually on April 10th, is a day to educate the public about the impact of HIV and AIDS on young people. Founded by Advocates for Youth, the day also highlights the advocacy of young people in the U.S. around linking people to services, providing sexual health resources, and HIV education.

It’s more important than ever that youth have quality sexual health services, including testing, free from stigma or oppression. One in five new HIV diagnoses in the U.S. occur in people aged 13 – 24, and approximately 44% of young people with HIV do not know they have the virus. In fact, only 9% of high school students have ever been tested for HIV. According to the CDC, youth with HIV are the least likely of any age group to be linked to care in a timely manner and have a suppressed viral load. Certain groups of young people – especially LGBTQ+, Black/African American, and Latinx youth – are at even greater risk for negative health outcomes due to structural racism and intolerance that further reduces access to quality and stigma-free support systems.

Youth aged 15-24 also make up half of all new reported sexually transmitted infections (STIs) – which, alongside an elevated risk of serious and/or long-term health complications, actually increases one’s chances of becoming infected with HIV. It is essential that young people understand how to protect themselves from STIs, too!

This NYHAAD, youth advocates around the world are organizing to link people to services, provide sexual health resources, and ensure access to HIV education. Advocates for Youth’s “NYHAAD Bill of Rights” declares five key rights of youth in navigating their health and autonomy:

Article 1: The right to live free from oppression

Poverty, racism, homophobia and other forms of oppression all contribute to HIV risk and to quality of treatment and care.

Article 2: The right to education

Young people have the right to education and skills to make informed decisions about their sexual health.

Article 3: The right to prevention

Young people have the right to condoms, HIV testing, and medication needed to help prevent HIV, and have the right to confidential, affordable, accessible services.

Article 4: The right to treatment and care

Young people are at risk of not receiving medication regularly enough to have their viral load suppressed. We must ensure that all youth have access to accessible and affordable HIV treatment.

Article 5: The right to live without criminalization, discrimination and stigma

Young people living with HIV have the right to freedom and dignity. Laws which criminalize HIV are founded in ignorance and serve only to divert attention and resources from real strategies to end the epidemic.

Local health departments play a key role in sharing up-to-date and age-appropriate information, creating youth-friendly spaces and collaborations, and working with schools and places where young people spend time to promote stigma-free, quality sexual health education and services.

Clinicians, parents, schools and youth all play a role in providing age-appropriate, stigma-free, culturally competent sexual health information and care to young people. Learn more in the resources below about the benefits of confidential health services for young people.

Additional Resources


637020799465370000

About Kim Rodgers

Kim Rodgers is the Communications Manager at NACCHO.

More posts by Kim Rodgers

Related Posts

Toddlers outside i Stock 485737780
  • Tools & Resources
  • Healthy Living & Prevention
  • Parks

Greener Parks for Health

National Recreation and Park Association releases new Greener Parks for Health...

Jul 13, 2020

Greener Parks for Health

CDC QCS Graphic
  • Tools & Resources
  • Webinar
  • HIV, STI, & Viral Hepatitis

Informational Webinar: STD Quality Clinical Services...

Informational webinar for the STD QCS Planning Toolkit to Support Use of CDC’s...

Jul 13, 2020 | Rebekah Horowitz

Informational Webinar: STD Quality Clinical Services...

Webinar
  • Webinar
  • Immunization
  • Maternal, Child, & Adolescent Health

Webinar: Delays in HPV Cancer Diagnoses and Treatment in...

Residents of rural areas have a higher cancer mortality, particularly for...

Jul 10, 2020 | Kimberly Sharpe-Scott

Webinar: Delays in HPV Cancer Diagnoses and Treatment in...

COVID VC Screenshot
  • COVID-19
  • Tools & Resources
  • Emergency Response
  • Infectious Disease

NACCHO’s COVID-19 Virtual Community Now Available to All...

NACCHO has opened our COVID-19 Virtual Community to all local health department...

Jul 08, 2020 | Kim Rodgers

NACCHO’s COVID-19 Virtual Community Now Available to All...

Sync2020 logos horizontal 1024x304
  • HIV, STI, & Viral Hepatitis

Scholarships Available: SYNChronicity 2020 Conference –...

SYNC 2020, the National Conference for HIV, HCV, STI and LGBTQ Health, is...

Jul 08, 2020 | Julia Zigman

Scholarships Available: SYNChronicity 2020 Conference –...

  • COVID-19
  • HIV, STI, & Viral Hepatitis
  • Research & Reports

Kaiser Family Foundation: Reduction in Sexual and...

The Kaiser Family Foundation released a new issue brief, Potential Impacts of...

Jul 08, 2020 | Julia Zigman

Kaiser Family Foundation: Reduction in Sexual and...

2000px US CDC logo
  • HIV, STI, & Viral Hepatitis

New Recommendations for Hepatitis Vaccination

CDC has released new recommendations for hepatitis A virus (HAV) vaccination,...

Jul 08, 2020 | Julia Zigman

New Recommendations for Hepatitis Vaccination

TAG Logo
  • HIV, STI, & Viral Hepatitis
  • Research & Reports

Treatment Action Group 2020 Pipeline Report Now Available

Treatment Action Group (TAG) recently published their 2020 Pipeline Report, an...

Jul 08, 2020 | Julia Zigman

Treatment Action Group 2020 Pipeline Report Now Available

Pr EP injectable
  • HIV, STI, & Viral Hepatitis
  • Research & Reports

New Study: Injectable PrEP is Safe and Highly Effective

New data further shows an injectable antiretroviral for HIV pre-exposure...

Jul 08, 2020 | Julia Zigman

New Study: Injectable PrEP is Safe and Highly Effective

Back to Top