AIDS Activist Wraps Up Two-Year Global Journey Educating Teens About HIV
AIDS activist John Chittick returned Wednesday from his two-year mission to educate teens across the globe about HIV prevention, the AP/Worcester Telegram & Gazette reports. On his journey, Chittick educated about 70,000 teens in 40 countries on HIV prevention methods, including condom use, monogamy and abstinence (AP/Worcester Telegram & Gazette, 1/18). Chittick visited a variety of nations over the past two years, and clocked "lengthy stays" in Brazil, Vietnam, India and South Africa. "I've come back with a real sense that young people around the world are vulnerable to HIV/AIDS," he said (Crittenden, Boston Herald, 1/18). The trip cost about $100,000, and left Chittick $15,000 in debt. Chittick was sometimes joined in his travels by members of Teen AIDS-PeerCorps Inc., a Boston-based not-for-profit group of which he is executive director. Chittick recruited many teens in other countries to become volunteer AIDS educators, but also encountered some opposition to his work, including authorities who were "resistant to his message." He also found it difficult to "reach out to young women in Muslim countries," the AP/Telegram & Gazette reports. The idea of educating teens in foreign countries about HIV/AIDS came to Chittick while he was working on his doctorate in education at Harvard University. "I had the expertise and I felt somebody needed to train young people and get them committed to doing something for their community," he said. Chittick now plans to write a book about his journey and resume his post as executive director of Teen AIDS-PeerCorps (AP/Worcester Telegram & Gazette, 1/18).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.