NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Teenagers volunteered to inform their peers about the risks of HIV and AIDS on World AIDS Day in Norfolk on Wednesday.
Dr. John Chittick led the mission of 70 teen volunteers. The mission, which he calls “AIDS attacks,” is a unique approach that sends teens into streets and parks to fight the disease.
“I lectured at Harvard for two years, and then I said, I’m preaching to the choir why am I here, I should be on the streets,” said Chittick.
Chittick trains the volunteers so that they can better relate to their peers.
Twenty-five percent of new HIV cases diagnosed in the U.S. are people between the ages of 12 and 19.
10 On Your Side walked with the teens down Granby Street as they surprised unsuspecting people downtown.
The two students that WAVY.com walked with don’t have HIV, but they do know their risk, and they wanted to get that message across.
“There’s a bunch of information on this card and brochure if you could just tell your friends, it could save a life,” said one of the students.
The next step for this group is to take its mission from the streets to social media.
The group is asking people to go to their website and choose a message to then send by text, Tweet, or Facebook.
Their goal is to reach a million people by March.