We Stand Together: Get the facts, get tested and get involved.
Young gay and bisexual males are hit hardest by new HIV-infection rates and that’s not the worst news: Most of them do not even know it, according to survey results recently released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Despite recommendations from the CDC that call for routine HIV testing of youth, the report shows that few young people have been tested for HIV. Only 13 percent of high school students have ever been tested for HIV, which is 22 percent of sexually experienced students.
B2M hosts weekly meetings to better understand why HIV is taking such a heavy toll on young men who have sex with men and highlights the importance of addressing risk behaviors and improving our education and efforts to address the epidemic in young people.
"Every young person should know how to protect themselves from HIV and should be empowered to do so" said Ivan Prater, who is taking the lead for the B2M group.
The "We Stand Together" campaign gives a voice to young gay men from all walks of life, alongside their friends and family members. As part of the campaign, these individuals share their personal stories and call on everyone to join the fight against the disease.
We Stand Together highlights the fact that HIV touches every corner of American society and that people with the infection are part of the fabric of our families and valued members of our communities.
More than three decades after the first reported AIDS cases, HIV is still a crisis in the United States. Approximately 50,000 Americans become newly infected each year, and an estimated 1.1 million people are now living with HIV. Yet, nearly one in five of these individuals does not know that they are infected.
“The new data included in today’s release helps us to better understand why HIV is taking such a heavy toll on young men who have sex with men and highlights the importance of addressing risk behaviors and improving our education and efforts to address the epidemic in young people,” said Norman Mitchell, CEO Bee Busy, Inc.
“There are lots of complexities around the epidemic, but that will not prevent us from doing a good job. We are ensuring that all Americans have information. It’s critical to reach all young people to inform them about HIV, how to practice safe sex, and how to get tested. Bee Busy has been doing a lot of work in this space.”
A little help can go a long way! You can make a difference!
When participants of this campaign were asked how friends, partners, co-workers, or people in their community can support people living with HIV or encourage others to stay HIV negative, their answers were always the same. Talk. Listen. Support.
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For more information, email Ivan Prater, Prevention Coordinator with Bee Busy or call 713-774-8800.
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