The event was sponsored by Assemblyman Anthony Portantino and City of Hope. The day of education and leadership development was geared towards teaching young people about the HIV/AIDS epidemic, but most importantly, how they can be advocates for health in their own communities. Among the speakers at the summit were Assemblyman Portantino, a fervent advocate for increasing knowledge on HIV/AIDS, and Dr. Alexandra Levine, City of Hope’s chief medical officer who gave the “state of the epidemic” talk and presented the “HIV/AIDS 101” workshop. Attendees had the pleasure of hearing keynote speaker, Mondo Guerra, winner of Project Runway All-Stars and HIV/AIDS activist,. Mondo gave an inspirational speech on his personal battle with HIV and how he found the courage to be true to himself and become a champion for HIV/AIDS awareness.
Quick facts about HIV/AIDS:
- In the United States, every 9 ½ minutes, someone is infected with HIV.
- An estimated 56,300 people will become infected with HIV this year.
- An estimated 1 in 4 individuals that have HIV don’t know it.
- Nearly half of the 19 million new STDs in the US each year are among young people aged 15–24 years.
- Young people aged 13–29 accounted for 39% of all new HIV infections in 2009.
- With regard to youth, HIV disproportionately affects young gay and bisexual men and young African Americans.
- In 2009, young persons accounted for 39% of all new HIV infections in the US. For comparison's sake, persons aged 15–29 comprised 21% of the US population in 2010.
- high school students have had sexual intercourse, and 5.9%
- reported first sexual intercourse before the age of 13.
- Of students reporting sexual intercourse during the 3
- months before the survey, 38.9% did not use a condom.
All attendees left with a wealth of knowledge and inspiration to help bring this catastrophic virus to an end. If you'd also like to be a champion for change, check out these local organizations working towards a brighter, healthier future.
- City of Hope
- AIDS Project Los Angeles
- AIDS Service Center
- CHIRP/LA: Comprehensive Housing Information & Referrals for People Living with HIV/AIDS
- East Valley Community Health Center Inc.
- Los Angeles County Sexually Transmitted Diseases Programs, Partner Services Unit
- NAPAFASA: National Asian Pacific American Families Against Substance Abuse
- Pasadena Public Health Department
- Planned Parenthood Pasadena & San Gabriel Valley