For nearly a decade, the fastest growing HIV/AIDS population has been women and the Pittsburgh based group, Educating Teens About HIV/AIDS, is hoping three events this month will do something about it. March 10th is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Educating Teens About HIV/AIDS will gather some 100 women tonight to show a documentary, hold a discussion and draw up a wide sweeping action plan. “Encourage each of us to encourage each other to be cognizant of what is going on and to protect themselves…. and what we can do individually to prevent HIV/AIDS, to encourage other people to become educated about HIV, to encourage everyone to work with teens and young adults,” says Educating Teens About HIV/AIDS Project Director Albertha Graham.
Later this month Graham and her group will take their message to younger women with the 11th annual HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Graham says in the past as many as 300 teens have come to the daylong event. This year’s event will be held March 29. Graham says to help accommodate teens that cannot get away from school that day they are holding a second event the night before. Registration for both events is still open. Graham says the region’s youth seem to be open to talking about HIV/AIDS, “The tricky part is getting adults involved in the process, understanding the need to educate our students and our teens and the more we work with teens the more we realize they are receptive and they really don’t want to contract the disease.” Graham says teens seem to be a bit less afraid of HIV than they were a few decades ago. She says to help combat that, her group usually brings in a person living with AIDS to talk about how hard it is to live with the disease.