HIV Outreach for Chicago Teens

November 30, 2007

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In recognition of World AIDS Day tomorrow, a youth social service agency is hosting a teens-only forum to debunk myths about the virus. Chicago Public Radio's Natalie Moore reports.

HIV cases among African-American teens are on the rise, according to the Illinois Department of Health. That's one reason Nathaniel Ward from South Central Community Services says this educational program is based on feedback from teens.

WARD: Teens told me that they had it in school and it was kind of formal. The presenters talked at them and used terms they didn't understand. And it wasn't very receptive to them.

Ward says he's heard teens say they can tell if someone is infected by appearance. He wants them to walk away Saturday with a better understanding of the disease and a free mouth swab HIV test. Oh, and every teen who attends the summit receives a free concert ticket to see R&B phenom Chris Brown.

I'm Natalie Moore, Chicago Public Radio.