National Youth HIV Awareness Day

National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day (NYHAAD) is an annual event intended to educate our communities about the impact of HIV on young people. Did you know that in the U.S. almost 20% of new HIV diagnoses are among young people aged 13-24 and half of the youth living with HIV do not know their status? Centering youth voices in the research process is vital to building effective strategies for HIV prevention and care.

As we recognize National Youth HIV Awareness Day, the ATN is sharing more about our efforts to amplify youth voices in HIV research. The ATN centers youth throughout the network as members of our Subject Matter Research Consultants (SMRCs), our National Community Advisory Board (NCAB), and our site consortia’s local youth advisory boards.

The ATN’s youth Subject Matter Research Consultants (SMRCs) are part-time employees at the Institute on Digital Health and Innovation at Florida State University. SMRCs may be located anywhere in the U.S. SMRCs typically work about ten hours per week and are assigned to one or more protocol teams and Scientific Leadership groups to provide guidance on study design, study materials, recruitment strategies, testing and monitoring prior to study launch, data analysis, and collaborating with the Communication and Dissemination Hub on social media and other communications content.

The ATN’s National Community Advisory Board (NCAB) consists of youth volunteers from within the ATN’s twelve site consortia who receive pay for their advocacy and expertise. NCAB members meet twice a month, and complete about 3-5 hours of work each month outside of meetings. The NCAB provides expertise and consultation to the ATN to ensure that the research agenda and work of the ATN reflects and addresses the current needs and issues of youth. The NCAB also facilitates the sharing of information to and from local youth community advisory boards at the site consortia.

Interested in learning more about best practices for engaging youth in research? Check out the ATN’s Youth Engagement Guide which is full of tips for before, during, and after meeting with youth.