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CDC Observes National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day

CDC LogoDear Colleague,

April 10th is National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day (NYHAAD). It is the first awareness day to recognize the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic specifically on young people. This annual observance was created by Advocates for Youth Exit Disclaimer and other partners to educate the public about the impact of HIV and AIDS on young people as well as highlight the exceptional work young people are doing across the country to strengthen the fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic. This observance aligns with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) efforts to 1) prevent HIV, other STDs, and teen pregnancy and promote lifelong health among young people and 2) address the needs of young people related to HIV/AIDS prevention.

HIV/AIDS is a serious threat to anyone of any age, but even more so for youth. In the United States, young people aged 13 to 24 accounted for an estimated 26% of all new HIV infections in 2010. Nearly 60% of new infections in youth occur in African Americans, about 20% in Hispanics/Latinos, and about 20% in whites. Although a disproportionate number of new HIV infections occur among youth, the percentage of youth tested for HIV is low compared to other age groups. In fact, only 1 in 5 sexually experienced U.S. high school students has ever been tested for HIV.

In observance of NYHAAD, CDC is engaging in several activities that highlight the importance of youth HIV prevention. These activities include –

On this national observance day and every day, we strive to promote age-appropriate HIV prevention education through parents, schools, and community-based programs and stop the spread of HIV. To protect this generation and those generations to come, it will take a concerted effort to provide our nation’s youth with the tools, services, and resources they need to assess their own personal risk, get tested, and protect themselves from HIV infection.

We thank our many partners across the country as we work together to achieve an AIDS-free generation.


Jonathan Mermin

Jonathan H. Mermin, M.D., M.P.H.
Director, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Stephanie Zaza

Stephanie Zaza, MD, MPH
Director, Division of Adolescent and School Health
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention