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Increasing youth's understanding of HIV, what contributes to HIV, and prevention and treatment options are crucial to controlling the HIV epidemic in the United States.

Advantages of HIV Prevention and Treatment Education

While many youth initiate sexual activity in their adolescence, they often have a low perception of risk that they will get HIV and may feel that they do not need to protect themselves. Benefits of educating youth about HIV prevention and treatment include:

  • Informing them of the continued risk HIV poses in the U.S.
  • Helping them to make informed decisions about their sexual health and reduce their risk for HIV
  • Increasing access to HIV testing and care

Youth HIV Facts

Youth in the U.S. have never known a world without HIV. 1 in 5 HIV infections occurs in people ages 13-24.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Challenges of HIV Prevention and Treatment Education

HIV prevention and treatment can be complex topics to communicate in language that youth can understand. Difficulties that organizations face include:

  • Finding the most relevant, up-to-date data to share with the young people they serve
  • Locating statistics that break down the state of the youth HIV epidemic in an understandable way
  • Describing individual behaviors, relationships, community aspects, and structural factors that contribute to adolescent risk of HIV
  • Providing resources on behavioral and medical strategies for adolescent HIV prevention and treatment

The pages in this section provide practical tools and resources to help youth understand the state of the youth HIV epidemic, what puts them at risk for HIV, how they can reduce their risk, HIV/AIDS-related stigma, and the stages of HIV care and treatment.

Testimonial Headshot
We selected 5 young people and trained them in testing, counseling, HIV basics, prevention, and VOICES. They were able to reach quite a few people."

Cicely - Atlanta, GA

Photo of Mila Garrido
Mila Garrido

Providers are always learning on the job. In this story, Mila describes an encounter with a client that left her questioning her own assumptions.

Page last updated: January 2018