By Alanna Conley

HIV and AIDS is a worldwide epidemic that is affecting Wisconsin in new ways. UW Health is combating these new challenges with community conversation.

Every year, December 1st marks World AIDS day. This year, community member gather at an event hosted by UW Health to discuss new challenges of the disease.

“I came all the way out here from Denver, because I want to make sure that everyone knows we are here. We are more than just a number,” said Adrian Nava, an HIV youth activist. “There’s so much learning we can do between young folks and old folks. Young people of color want a seat at the table.”

Although newly diagnosed cases of HIV in the United States have been steadily decreasing in the general population, among young people, especially in those of color, the disease is on the rise.

“We live at a point where our friends who are HIV positive or are at risk of being HIV positive, don’t have to worry at the same degree as older folks,” Nava said.  There’s a lot we can learn from people who have been doing this for decades.”

According to UW Health, 2/3 of newly diagnosed cases in Wisconsin were in people of color, although they only make up 17% of the states population.

“We do not learn about tomorrow, how we need to continue to fight, continue to heal, continue moving forward,” said high school slam poet Ella Deitz.







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