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Jess Baar's Reflection on Service at Metro Teen Aids

Posted on 07/22/2011 @ 11:58 AM

A lot has happened during these past two weeks. We did an amazing program called Street Torah, went to service sites, participated in planned programs and yesterday, went to lobby. For this blog entry, I want to focus on my service site, Metro Teen AIDS (MTA).

MTA is all about promoting safer sex practices to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. During our first day there we met our amazing service site volunteer coordinator, Ana. She talked to us about what MTA was all about and gave us a lesson on HIV/AIDS. We learned that DC has the highest HIV/AIDS rate in the country with 3% of the population infected. This is well above the 1% needed for this to be considered an epidemic.

Throughout the next week my group continued to meet in MTA's "Freestyle" teen lounge. Freestyle is a place where local teens can go to hang out and be safe. It also provides programming and field trips, along with testing for various STD's. It gives the teens a place to go for support.

On Monday, we gave up some of our break time to plan and run a program for the local teens at freestyle. Let me just say that it was well worth it.

Wednesday was our last day there. The group walked throughout DC talking about HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness. Then we all sadly said our last goodbye to Ana whom we had grown so close with. Metro Teen AIDS was an eye opening experience and I learned a lot about not only HIV/AIDS, but an acceptance for other people who are ostracized for being different.

Jessica Baar, Allentown, PA

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