Dine & Learn Healthy Youth Symposium

The Condom Couture HIV/AIDS Awareness/Prevention Fashion Show is a special feature in the youth symposium using symbolism to raise HIV/AIDs awareness/prevention by encuraging youth through unique clothing designs & music with voice over messages t0 promote abstinence, to delay sexual activities, to practice safer sex and to know their status.
Photo by Leslie Biamby

SUNY Downstate Medical Center, in partnership with Boys and Girls High School, the Bedford-Stuyvesant YMCA, and the Stay Strong Foundation, will hold its 6th Annual Dine & Learn Healthy Youth Symposium titled “Live Straight Up Healthy,” on Friday, May 6, from 3:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., at Boys and Girls High School, 1700 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, New York 11213.

The symposium is expected to draw more than 600 young people between the ages of 13 and 21 from central Brooklyn and adjacent neighborhoods.

“Here at SUNY Downstate, Brooklyn’s only academic medical center, we understand that there are no shortcuts when it comes to stopping the spread of HIV and other diseases,” said Karen Jemmott, director of physician outreach at SUNY Downstate and the symposium organizer. “With the support of many community partners, we have taken on the challenge of preventing disease in youth and promoting health during these crucial years,” said Jemmott.

As part of HIV/AIDS education, the event will raise awareness about the advantages of delaying sexual activities and the benefits of practicing safer sex. In conjunction with Nippy Lavern Fashions, LLC, a fashion show and exclusive 2011 Prom Collection will be presented, called “Choose Fashion to Live For: Condoms Are Fashion For Life.”

Rapid HIV testing and counseling and noninvasive screenings for sexually transmitted diseases will also be available.

Kamie Crawford, Miss Teen USA, and Lisa Drouillard, Miss New York Teen USA, will team up to reach out to young women regarding the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Brooklyn and stress the role teens must play in stopping the spread of HIV. Brooklyn has the largest number of people ages 13-24 living with HIV/AIDS in New York City. It is also home to the largest number of HIV-positive teenaged girls in the city. Nationwide, only 13 percent of 9th–12th grade students have been tested for HIV.

Physicians from SUNY Downstate Medical Center and other health experts will offer talks on mental health, healthy eating, teen dating, and STDs. Exhibitors will be on hand to offer youth health information and other support services in the areas of education/career development, fitness/weight loss, nutrition, finance, mental health, substance abuse, domestic violence, managed care, skin, hair and dental care, and youth empowerment.

Music will be provided by HOT97’s DJ Spynfo. The event’s media partner is Manhattan Neighborhood Network.

Participants will receive The Life Saver: A Healthy Youth Resource Guide, with information on how to access physicians, programs, services, and resources in their community. A healthy snack will be served and gift bags will be distributed to each young person as a token of appreciation. Some participants will also win prizes (gift cards, certificates and coupons) during the answer/question sessions.

Young people age 13 and older are invited but those under 17 must have consent forms signed by a parent or guardian. To register, call 718-270-7350. Seating is limited.

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