Youth & Shelter Services will commemorate World AIDS Day Dec. 1, by covering the Icarus statue in front of its Jacobson Center YSS Headquarters at 420 Kellogg Avenue. In observance of World AIDS Day, tens of thousands of outdoor art sculptures will be shrouded across the nation. YSS staff and clients will also wear red ribbons to remind the public that the battle against HIV/AIDS continues and in honor of the memory of those lost to the disease. YSS will also have displays at local libraries, posters throughout the community. Bulletin inserts will be available for local churches.
According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, the number of Iowans with AIDS/HIV continues to increase with 2,023 persons having tested positive for the illness. This is a prevalence rate of 66 cases per 100,000 people. Worldwide, 33.4 million people are afflicted by the disease and more than 25 million have died since the disease was first reported in 1981.
The IDPH also reported that there were 120 new HIV diagnoses in Iowa last year. While diagnoses among youth slowed to 22 in 2012, it was the fourth consecutive year of 21 or more diagnoses for that younger age group. Of these 22 children and youth diagnosed in 2012, 91 percent were among males, and 80 percent of that group had been exposed through sex.
According to the IDPH, AIDS diagnoses among young females were a relative bright spot, having risen from two in 2010 to seven in 2011, they decreased to two new cases in 2012. Since 2007, there have been nearly five male diagnoses for every female diagnosis.
YSS' Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program provides leadership and education in prevention, parenting and sexual health including HIV education. Its Teaming Together For Teens group provides HIV prevention and education to public schools and on the campus of Iowa State University.
YSS staff is available for educational presentations concerning HIV/AIDS prevention and sexual health and may be contacted by calling Tina Hopkins at 515-433-2091, by visiting the Teaming Together For Teens Teen Clinic at 806 Seventh St. in Boone, or by email at email@example.com.