|The Muslim Youth Project|
Almost half of all new STI infections in the United States occur in young people under age 25. Additionally, at the end of 2006, in 45 states with reporting, almost 46,000 young people ages 13-24 were living with HIV, comprising about sixteen percent of all HIV infections. But experts believe young people may suffer from up to 30 percent of all cases of HIV in the United States. Slightly less than half of all new HIV infections in the United States occur in young people under age 25 and even though public health programs have attempted to address the needs of many marginalized youth communities, the Muslim youth community continues to remain invisible. Islam is the fastest growing religion in the United States and Muslim youth are facing myriad challenges including an immigrant hostile environment, islamophobia and a general lack of understanding of what it means to be “Muslim” from the mainstream communities. To address the specific needs of Muslim youth around reproductive and sexual health, Advocates has lauched the Muslim Youth Project which provides a forum for organizations working with Muslim youth to highlight their voices and bring their experiences to the fore-front.
Through the Muslim Youth Project, organizations receive strategic capacity building assistance, including publications and materials; written and electronic correspondence; telephone consultations; on-site training; and a seed grant in the amount of $4,000 to implement an HIV/STI and teen pregnancy prevention project. Services offered through this initiative are tailored to fit the needs of the specific organizations.