November 01, 2009

LGBT Helping Hands 11/1/09-Metro TeenAIDS (Washington, DC)

Metro TeenAIDS provides resources to help young people fight AIDS and support each other. MTA is the only organization in the Washington DC-metro area focusing all of its efforts on the unique prevention, education, and treatment needs of young people.

Advancing the overall health of at-risk and HIV-infected adolescents is within our community’s power. Metro TeenAIDS advances community prevention efforts by:

* mobilizing young people in support of their peers,
* battling stigma and indifference by raising community awareness about the threat HIV/AIDS poses to young people,
* providing HIV information and innovative prevention strategies to young people and the adults in contact with them,
* uniting with other organizations to ensure that teenagers receive adolescent-appropriate and easily accessible prevention, health care, and counseling services as well as safe recreational opportunities; and,
* developing comprehensive programs which address the many co-factors of adolescent HIV infection — including low self-esteem, drug and alcohol abuse, dangerously unproductive free time, and exposure to peer groups which encourage unhealthy and risky behavior.

Our community risks losing a new generation to HIV.

Washington, D.C. has one of the highest AIDS rates in the country. But very few of those infected are getting the treatment they need. Between 1,000 and 1,500 infected young people live in the Washington, D.C. area. Yet only 100 of them are receiving medical care.

Across the nation, half of all new HIV infections occur among people under the age of 25. But as many as one third of all HIV-infected young people do not know they carry the virus.

With so much ignorance, and such limited healthcare, young people face the highest risk of infection. They also live in a culture that heightens those risks. Adolescents tend to distrust adults who could help them, yet face intense pressure to become sexually active at an early age.

How do we help young people to protect themselves?

MetroTeenAIDS speaks to youth in their own language and in their own space. With our team of specially trained young people, working alongside professionals, we reach out to them in schools, nightclubs, youth centers, shelters and the streets.

Click here to find out more.

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