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Press Release: New National HIV/AIDS Strategy Prioritizes Sex Education and Reducing Health Disparities

Advocates for Youth applauds the White House’s Office of National AIDS Policy on the updated National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS), released today. Advocates is thrilled to have played a small role in helping to prioritize youth, especially young gay and bisexual men in this new strategy, including a call for age-appropriate education for all Americans before they begin engaging in HIV risk-taking behaviors.

The updated strategy moves the country forward with a renewed commitment to addressing the HIV and AIDS epidemic by 2020 by implementing a coordinated plan that includes a vision for the U.S. to “become a place where new HIV infections are rare and when they do occur, every person, regardless of age, gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or socio-economic circumstance, will have unfettered access to high quality, life-extending care, free from stigma and discrimination."

With feedback from youth activists around the country, Advocates provided input to the updated plan to prioritize young people, particularly young men who have sex with men (YMSM) and YMSM of color, and to push the importance of comprehensive sex education as a tool for HIV education and prevention.

This new plan not only calls for a reduction in new cases but also a laser focus on reducing disparity. Young people, especially YMSM, are at a higher risk of HIV due to factors including lack of information, and access to health care. Among young people living with HIV, fewer than half have been diagnosed.

“Young people have advocated for 30 years for their needs to be prioritized in the HIV and AIDS response. With the release of the new NHAS we know that their voices have been heard. We are excited by the renewed commitment from this Administration to ensure new HIV infections will be rare, ensure that everyone has access to the care they need regardless of circumstances, and to end HIV discrimination and stigma,” said Advocates for Youth President Debra Hauser.

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We are fed up.

Every day, Planned Parenthood affiliates and independent abortion providers around the nation give compassionate care to women who need abortions. I am fed up with the ongoing attacks on these brave and committed providers. The need for abortion care has been a common experience across the generations and health care facilities such as Planned Parenthood have been there to ensure safe access. Yet those who provide abortion care are too often intimidated, badgered, stalked, and entrapped.AFY_StandWithPP2.jpg

I stand with Planned Parenthood and I ask you to do so as well.

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