(YAC) is a group of teenagers from all over Birmingham and the Jefferson County area. Our goal is to teach as many youth as possible about HIV/AIDS and all sexually transmitted infections (STI). Sexually active adolescents are at increasingly high risk for exposure to HIV/AIDS, which is one of the leading causes of death among 15 to 24 year olds (world-wide). Last year in Alabama the rate of new HIV cases in ages 14 to 24 went up 15% state wide! Every day in the State of Alabama someone between the ages of 14 to 24 is diagnosed with HIV. It is YAC’s mission to decrease that statistic. I am sure you are aware of the rise of STI cases in the state of Alabama. Nationally Alabama rates 3rd in both Chlamydia and Gonorrhea. During the year of 2008, in Jefferson County young people between the ages of 15 and 24, there were 4,081 cases of Chlamydia, 1,671 cases Gonorrhea and 81 cases of Syphilis, and those numbers are on the raise. Birmingham is one of the top ten cities in the nation for Syphilis infection.
The YAC programs last from 45 minutes to an hour. YAC conveys important and current information about the state of HIV/AIDS in today’s world. It is our experience that teenagers will listen to their peers more than they will an adult. YAC programs can be tailored to fit the needs of your school requirements and the program is free to all school systems.
The Youth Advisory Council was founded in the summer / fall of 1993 by Bob Axelton, Education Director at the BAO. Bob gathered a group of high school students from Homewood, Altamont and John Carroll. Over the course of three or four months Bob empowered the youth with lay language and medical terms teaching them the myths, the facts and terminology of the clinical world and the streets. This group had little purpose other than gathering in a safe location on a Monday evening to discuss HIV/AIDS risky behaviors and clinical therapies, while eating pizza.
Based on the belief that by empowering youth with positive values, self-esteem and the appropriate lay and clinical language they could be the best force of preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS among their peer based group. The program quickly started because YAC already had more than sixty hours of educational training. They quickly altered their Monday evenings adopting a new mission to work on individual presentations on The History, They Myths, The Facts, Safe Sex/Abstinence, Risky Behaviors, Treatment and Psychosocial/Socioeconomic Factors.
Over the next three years YAC grew to nearly thirty members from city, county and private schools doing over three hundred presentations a year. YAC became a huge success using minimal money with a maximum effect. Schools booked YAC presentations from as far south as Montgomery and as far north as Huntsville. These presentations were repeated every year and some were booked six to nine months in advance. The YAC members quickly became the expert voice in their schools on HIV/AIDS and became strong promoters for their agenda.
BAO staff members have been trained to offer the community free, confidential, reliable, non-invasive, oral testing for HIV. The HIV Test is always free, always confidential, and results are given in 20 minutes.
The test is administered using the OraQuick ADVANCE® Rapid HIV-1/2 Antibody test, which detects antibodies to HIV-1 and HIV-2 in 20 minutes and requires a simple oral swab.
The professional team at Birmingham AIDS Outreach offers a warm and caring environment and is available to answer questions regarding HIV and HIV transmission.
Testing hours Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday 9 AM — 4 PM; Wednesday 2:30 PM until 6:00 PM. No appointment required.
Brother-to-Brother is one of only a few secondary prevention education programs in the nation, and the first such program in the state of Alabama. Brother-to-Brother provides prevention education information, as well as empowerment skills building and self-worth enhancement, to HIV positive men who have sex with men. Through this program, participating consumers come to understand the considerable risk of reinfection and learn skills that will assist them in making healthy decisions for themselves and prevent HIV transmission to negative partners.
Meetings are held each Friday, at BAO, from 11:30 AM until 1:00 PM.
The Mpowerment Porject is a joint collaboration between AIDS Alabama and Birmingham AIDS Outreach through a grant from the Alabama Department of Public Health. The Project targets young males to educate them about STD's, safer sex, consistent condom use, self-esteem issues and a way to meet new friends.