Hey everyone, my name is Lindsay Avrutine, and I am SMART’s Social Work Intern since January 2012 while I get my Master’s degree from Hunter. One of the best parts of this year was going to the International AIDS Conference in Washington, DC with SMART Youth. It was something I’ll never forget!
From July 22 to July 27, 2012, SMART Youth leaders went to
the International AIDS Conference (IAC) in Washington, DC, the first time the
conference has taken place in the United States since 1990. We were so excited
to learn that our request was accepted to participate in the Global Village,
the free part of the conference where organizations from around the globe set
up booths to represent their ideas, their cities, and their
prevention/awareness efforts to end HIV/AIDS.
All in all, the International AIDS Conference was a huge success!
The SMART Youth booth inside the Global Village was designed around our graphic
“I Love Safe Sex”, the logo that was emblazoned upon many of the items sold,
such as magnets, buttons, t-shirts, and even boxer shorts! Our SMART Youth
artists donated their original work for a silent auction and created DIY t-shirt
tote bags, and many people at the conference were seen sporting a SMART Youth
“I Heart Safe Sex” button!
We were able to learn about other youth organizations from
around the world, as well as up to date information about HIV/AIDS research.
SMART Youth co-founder, Christina Rodriguez, served as our delegate at the IAC,
and attended several workshops and seminars conducted by notable individuals in
the field of HIV/AIDS (read her blogs below). Through exploration of the Global
Village, we were able to collect pamphlets and condoms from around the world,
and through our digital outreach project we spoke with representatives from a
variety of nations to interview them about sexual health and sexual health
education in countries like the Ukraine, Jamaica, Great Britain, and Gambia.
Many thanks to those who contributed to this
once-in-a-lifetime experience, including those who donated both time and money
to the trip! Stay tuned for our video clips…