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SMYAL has #PrideInPrevention

SMYAL (Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders) empowers lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth in the Washington, DC metropolitan region. Through youth leadership, SMYAL creates opportunities for LGBTQ youth to build self-confidence, develop critical life skills, and engage their peers and community through service and advocacy, including learning to become leaders in addressing the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

The image created was inspired by a Huffington Post article titled, The Startling Link Between Dating Apps And STI Risk. The article discusses the ways in which individuals use smartphone social apps, such as Grindr and Scruff, to identify sexual partners and the potential increase in risk of exposure to STIs such as gonorrhea and chlamydia. SMYAL works with our youth leaders to create compelling ways to educate their peers about the risks of STIs and creates opportunities for youth to educate themselves, access testing, and to receive counseling and care.

SMYAL hopes to use the award to help support a current program which transforms the stories and experiences of young people’s understandings of HIV/AIDS into performance pieces. The stories will focus on how the epidemic has impacted the LGBT community, particularly young LGBT people. The goal of the performances is to help educate members of the community about HIV/AIDS in the lives of young people and to create community dialog. SMYAL believes that continuing to have community dialog about HIV/AIDS helps to not only educate LGBT youth about the risks and prevention methods around HIV/AIDS, but also helps to destigmatize HIV/AIDS in the LGBT community which is an important goal.

SMYAL #PrideInPrevention Selected Image:


Posted By: Sultan Shakir, Executive Director, SMYAL - Wednesday, December 10, 2014

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