Supermodel Karlie Kloss and designer Jason Wu recently shined on the red carpet at the annual Met Gala, where Kloss wore a gorgeous Jason Wu gown. On Sunday May 20, 2012, they will trade the catwalk and red carpet for the streets of New York City and pound the pavement to raise money and awareness for AIDS organizations as part of the 2012 AIDS Walk New York.
"AIDS Walk New York is the perfect opportunity to bridge an important issue with close friends and family. What could be more fun than walking with the people you love to spread the word and raise funds for such a worthy cause? I'm so excited to be participating in AIDS Walk New York, and to be teaming up with Jason and all of our friends for such an incredible cause," says Kloss.
Kloss and Wu, close friends, will co-captain the team STEP FORWARD, comprised of their friends and family. "I am thrilled to be able to contribute to such a great cause and hope my participation will bring further attention to the AIDS Walk New York," says Wu.
Are young people at significant risk of HIV infection?
Many of the 1.1 million people now living with HIV in the U.S. became infected when they were teenagers. The CDC’s 2007 statistics show that about 48 percent of American high school students had been sexually active. Young people aged 13–29 accounted for 34 percent of HIV infections in 2006. Many young people also use drugs and alcohol, which can increase the likelihood that they will engage in high-risk sexual behavior.
The virus can be spread (transmitted):
- Through sexual contact — including oral, vaginal, and anal sex.
- Through blood — via blood transfusions (now extremely rare in the U.S.) or needle sharing.
- From mother to child — a pregnant woman can transmit the virus to her fetus through their shared blood circulation, or a nursing mother can transmit it to her baby in her breast milk.
Know your HIV status. Everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 should be tested for HIV at least once. If you are at increased risk for HIV, you should be tested for HIV at least once a year.
AIDS stigma exists around the world in a variety of ways, including ostracism, rejection, discrimination, and avoidance of HIV infected people; compulsory HIV testing without prior consent or protection of confidentiality; violence against HIV infected individuals or people who are perceived to be infected with HIV; and the quarantine of HIV infected individuals. Stigma-related violence or the fear of violence prevents many people from seeking HIV testing, returning for their results, or securing treatment, possibly turning what could be a manageable chronic illness into a death sentence and perpetuating the spread of HIV.
In memory of Cessy Lima.