Summit to Debunk Myths, Stigma Around HIV for Michigan Youth
Wednesday, September 22, 2021
LANSING, Mich. - Organizers of a summit about sexual health will provide a safe space on Friday for young Michiganders to have open, honest and affirming conversations about HIV prevention and care.
More than 15,000 Michigan residents live with HIV, and the stigma associated with it often keeps people from getting tested and knowing their status.
Natasha Thomas, Genesee County program coordinator for the Michigan Organization on Adolescent Sexual Health, said it's important that young people are able to talk about HIV and sexual health.
"HIV is something that we should be aware of, it's something that we should be educated about, but it's not necessarily something that we should fear," she said. "It's not something that we should stigmatize."
She said the "HIV and You(th) Summit" is geared toward folks ages 13 to 24 and adults who work with youths. It will feature workshops on knowing your own medical rights, what it means to live with HIV, medications for prevention and care - such sa PrEP and PEP - and laws and history surrounding HIV and the LGBTQ community.
Thomas added that it's also important that conversations about prevention and care debunk myths about HIV and how it is transmitted. She said there are few spaces where young people can go to get up-to-date, medically accurate information about sexual health.
"A lot of young people then turn to their peers, or they turn to the internet," she said, "where they then have to kind of weed through all of this information - some of it accurate, some of it not."
Thomas said she hopes attendees will leave the summit with resources and services they can look to, on an ongoing basis. Health experts urge people who are sexually active to learn their HIV status through regular testing at a clinic, hospital or community health center.
get more stories like this via email
Voting advocates say more and more Michiganders are choosing to cast absentee ballots to save time and avoid long lines on Election Day. In 2020…
With the election a little over a month away, some say caregiving and long-term care are issues too big for candidates in Oregon to ignore. There …
Health and Wellness
COVID upended many routines, including Texas parents getting kids in for regularly scheduled childhood vaccines. Data from the Texas Department of …
Pennsylvania has a strong commitment to urban agriculture and community gardening, and some groups in the state are working to get more colorful …
Georgia Power is reducing its reliance on coal by phasing out several coal-fired units. However, clean-energy advocates say the company should …
A new report on Black students in the community college system found fewer are signing up to attend two-year schools, and the college enrollment …
Greenhouse gas emissions have been potentially reduced by 50,000 tons in the state, with the help of Wisconsin farmers supported by a statewide …
Social Security benefits again could see their highest increase in several decades, but those advocating for beneficiaries say there is still plenty …