May 5, 2011
AIDS prevention, career development, and creative writing as therapy were among topics discussed at "As Raw As It Gets," the recent ninth annual conference sponsored by Chicagoland Youth Against AIDS.
"I believe that if nothing else, the youth will be armed with ammunition of information from this conference," said C.C. Carter of the women's group POW WOW Inc. "They will not have to rely on some adult to tell them or even get miseducated from someone." Carter helped organize the conference with Dr. Margo Bell of the Chicago HIV/AIDS Risk Reduction Project for Youth. Also playing a role was Stroger Hospital's Division of Adolescent Medicine.
The free gathering for youths ages 13 to 24 began with an address by Marvelyn Brown, who learned at age 19 that she was HIV-positive. Brown's efforts to share her story have earned her widespread recognition, including a 2007 Emmy Award for Outstanding National PSA.
Remarks by David Robertson, who is HIV-positive, drew an emotional reaction from one 14-year-old. "The best thing I took from his talk was how he went through all of that and kept going with his life," she said. "He didn't give up."
Other highlights included: