More than 20 percent of all people diagnosed with HIV in 2014 in the United States were 13-24 years of age. But only one in five sexually active U.S. high school students gets tested for HIV. In all, about 156,300 young people living with HIV are unaware of their infection.
National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day on Sunday was created to raise awareness about the impact of HIV/AIDS on young people. The annual observance reminds the nation “investing in young people’s health and education is a critical step to achieving an AIDS-free generation,” according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Schools should help teach young people about preventing unhealthy or risky behaviors that could result in HIV infections and provide access to HIV counseling and testing services, the government agency said. The CDC recommends everyone 13 to 64 years of age get tested for HIV annually. LGBTQ youth are particularly at risk.
Here are some quotes to share on social media to honor young people with HIV/AIDS and activists working to raise awareness about the infection:
1. “In today’s climate in our country, which is sickened with the pollution of pollution, threatened with the prominence of AIDS, riddled with burgeoning racism, rife with growing huddles of the homeless, we need art and we need art in all forms. We need all methods of art to be present, everywhere present, and all the time present,” — Maya Angelou
2. “The fight against HIV/AIDS requires leadership from all parts of government — and it needs to go right to the top. AIDS is far more than a health crisis. It is a threat to development itself,” — Kofi Annan
3. “Everywhere I go, I see very much the same thing. I see the same compassion for people who live half a world away. I see the same concern about events beyond these borders. And, increasingly, I see the same conviction that we can and we must join together to stop the scourge of AIDS and poverty,” — Bono
4. “Stigma hurts. Because of AIDS, children are bullied, isolated and shut out of school. They are missing out on education. They are missing out on medicines. Children are missing your love, care and protection,” — Jackie Chan
5. “AIDS is no longer a death sentence for those who can get the medicines. Now it’s up to the politicians to create the ‘comprehensive strategies’ to better treat the disease,” — Bill Clinton
6. “The heart of the security agenda is protecting lives — and we now know that the number of people who will die of AIDS in the first decade of the 21st century will rival the number that died in all the wars in all the decades of the 20th century,” — Al Gore
7. “People with HIV are still stigmatized. The infection rates are going up. People are dying. The political response is appalling. The sadness of it, the waste,” — Elton John
8. “I’m not cured, but the HIV is asleep deep in my body,” — Magic Johnson
9. “HIV does not make people dangerous to know, so you can shake their hands and give them a hug: Heaven knows they need it,” — Princess Diana
10. “I’m a firm believer that education is the most efficient tool we have to make people aware and make our children aware, and to protect them from the scourge of the century, which is AIDS,” — Shakira