Metro TeenAIDS Metro TeenAIDS Thu, 10 Apr 2014 22:16:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 MTA Media Coverage in February and March Tue, 18 Mar 2014 04:58:20 +0000 We’ve recently had some great media coverage of our activities.

We start with a video of our fantastic peer educator, Zataunia, talking about her path in life as a person impacted by HIV, as a young parent and a college student. This video really demonstrates both how MTA and our youth work to support youth and their communities.

Watch the video on YouTube.

Adam Tenner was quoted in the local news blog, DCist, about the recent passage of legislation around expedited partner therapy, a practice that allows doctors to treat the sex partners of patients diagnosed with certain sexually transmitted infections by providing either prescriptions or medicines that the patient can take home to their partner without that person needing to come in for an evaluation.


Also, here is an excellent video of Adam Tenner talking about Sex and Health Education to an international news program from China.

Watch the video on YouTube.


Finally, a great blog post on a University of California, Berkeley site that discusses MTA’s STABLE families program and why it’s such an important national model. Kudos to Melissa Sellevaag and her team for their good work and impressive coverage.


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Great Success in February Wed, 26 Feb 2014 07:15:39 +0000 MTA’s For the Love of You was the annual youth talent show and arts showcase in commemoration of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day and Valentines Day.  The theme was designed around love: self-love, love of others and love of your community.   Apparently the snow has been encouraging youths’ creativity as there were 15 performances ranging from poetry and spoken work to dance to song and other art forms, all focusing around how to be a positive and supportive to yourself, your loves, and your community. The event attracted 115 attendees who also had opportunities to receive HIV or STI tests and learn about health issues across DC and the metropolitan area. 

The event was hosted by LeeAngelo “Handsome Henson” Henson and featured a talented array of performances from poets to rappers to singers with the beautiful vibes of The Poetique Lyssa J wrapping things up.  Between performances, DJ Mambo kept everyone entertained with a nice blend of Hip Hop and R&B while Henson engaged the crowd in HIV/STI trivia questions.  Island Moon Catering provided food, drinks, and dessert.

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Warm Up Heart and Soul in February with MTA Wed, 29 Jan 2014 05:11:53 +0000 Metro TeenAIDS youth and staff are not intimidated by the February cold.  No, indeed, they are energizing the community with a series of creative, health-advocating, community-unifying activities.

Dust off your dancing shoes, sharpen your literary pencil and create a piece to share and celebrate health.  Here’s a sampling of our creative community outreach events:

February 1, 2014 — Hyper Bole at George Mason University, a regional youth poetry festival from 6–9pm. MTA is supporting a regional youth poetry slam featuring teams and individuals from Maryland, DC and Virginia for an evening of poetry, socializing and being inspired. The event features dozens of teams and performers sharing their creative work. MTA will have youth performers and provide healthy information and resources for healthy living.

February 5, 2014 — For the Love of You is the Annual Youth talent show and arts showcase in commemoration of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day and Valentines Day. The event will take place at the Anacostia Library 1800 Good Hope Road SE from 5–8pm. LeeAngelo “Lo” Henson, an MTA Youth and Urban Allies alumni and emerging community leader will serve as the host and emcee of the event.

MTA is always honored to partner with community and city partners to create a space for youth to share their talent. Thanks to the Anacostia Library (and all DC Libraries). In addition, Will Rap 4 Food and the DC Youth Poetry Slam Teams will be there. These two groups, in addition to MTA youth, are re-defining spoken work and speaking about social justice issues.

For the Love of You, during the coldest time of the year is designed around love: self-love, love of others and love of your community. Our youth are always looking for opportunities to support each other and their community. This work continues to inspire me everyday.

— Dwayne Lawson Brown, Community Outreach Coordinator

The event will feature HIV and STI testing, a selection of healthy foods and chances to win date packages including movie dinner gift certificates, movie passes and metro cards!

February 15, 2014 — Passion Over Poverty: Domestic Violence Wears Many Tags. This talent showcase features youth from 7-24 years old and will raise awareness around the many faces and looks of domestic violence. As the title suggests, domestic violence can wear any outfit, any brand, any style. The event will take place at the Solomon Brown Community Center in the Salvation Army at 2300 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, SE. We are especially pleased to see opportunities for children who also have so much to say and share, creatively.

For more information about any of these events, contact Raul Posas.

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Hopeful signs in the HIV/AIDS war – Frost Illustrated Fri, 10 Jan 2014 02:32:10 +0000 By Jazelle Hunt, NNPA Washington Correspondent

WASHINGTON—Rae Lewis Thornton likes to sneak in a tranquil teatime between expanding her brand and the 16 pills she has to take each day. But, that’s nothing compared to the 21 pills she was taking in her darkest days of battling full-blown AIDS.

Thornton was diagnosed with HIV at 23 years old after attempting to donate blood. The following year, she shared her story and made the cover of Essence magazine, instantly becoming toe face of HIV/AIDS for young, successful, heterosexual black women, catapulting herself into a life of activism and ministry. Today, she continues to minister, teach and welcome the world into her life through her award-winning syndicated blog, Diva Living with AIDS.

And, she certainly is living.

Now 51 years old, Thornton is an Emmy-Award winner, author, life coach and motivational speaker, jewelry designer, and avid reader.

“One thing I’ve done is live incredibly well with this disease,” said Thornton, who lives in Chicago. “But, don’t confuse my HIV now with how it used to be. Now, they can keep you here and you can live a long life, but it is a very hard life.”

Read the rest of this article at Frost Illustrated.

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More HIV Services Needed for Infected Youth Fri, 10 Jan 2014 01:58:05 +0000 An article released in the journal AIDS, which included data from Washington, DC underscores the necessity for increased HIV-specific services for youth. The article concludes that HIV positive young people have dangerously high levels of the virus in their system which can make them more likely to transmit HIV to their partners.

“The findings reinforce the need for continued or expanded HIV testing  services as well as services that link HIV positive young people with medical care and social services, “ states Adam Tenner, Executive Director of Metro TeenAIDS. “For so many of the HIV positive young people we serve, managing their HIV is not a priority.  Our work is to help them integrate an HIV diagnosis into their lives.”

But Tenner cautions that it’s not just “more” that’s needed, the services need to be tailored specifically to the needs of adolescents.

“It’s been our experience that young men who have sex with men, tend to drop out of care because of the complexity of their lives including the double stigma associated with disclosing their HIV status as well as their sexual activity,” says Melissa Sellevaag, MTA’s Director of Clinical Services.

“We’re being told that funding may shrink for community-based HIV programs.  And yet”, Tenner says , “programs like the ones at Metro TeenAIDS are essential to ensure that young people are accessing and remaining in care. “

A recent HIV testing program run by Metro TeenAIDS and funded by the DC Department of Health identified several youth who knew they were HIV positive but were not engaged in care.  “It is our experience that many HIV-positive youth will go to a first appointment but unless they have adequate support, rarely stay engaged, “says Sellevaag.

“The way we reduce future transmission of HIV is to ensure that all HIV positive young people know their status, receive medical care and stay adherent to their medication.”

Metro TeenAIDS (MTA) is a community health organization dedicated to partnering with young people to end HIV/AIDS. During 25 years of service, MTA has provided education programs and prevention resources to well over 300,000 young people, family members, and youth workers in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area. For more information about Metro TeenAIDS  visit or call (202) 543 8246.  Press inquires to Adam Tenner: or (202) 550-4449. @realtalkdc @metroteenaids 

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NEW — MTA Youth Programs — 2014 Initiative Mon, 06 Jan 2014 03:49:56 +0000

In 2014, MTA’s RealTalk is launching a new city-wide youth engagement program to unite health practices with job readiness and post secondary training.

We cannot fully engage youth to be healthier, if they do not see a future for themselves that includes a good job, college or some sort of training. Why would we expect that they prioritize long-term health when they can’t see short term success in other areas of their lives? Building life and work skills will help youth to plan their futures and understand that healthy choices today lead to greater success tomorrow.

— Traci Callender, MTA’s Director of Prevention Initiatives

MTA’s youth leadership program will combine health education, job skills training, career exploration and community service. The program has a ladder design where youth enter and receive basic skills, learn essential health information –including and beyond HIV and sexual health, and participate in community-building and education activities. Youth can progress through program stages with more specified trainings and opportunities as well as increased responsibilities. Participation can help students from DC public high schools meet the 100 hours of community service graduation requirement.

Evidence shows that persons with jobs are more emotionally stable, live healthier lives and are more engaged in their own communities. We know that we cannot impact health outcomes of youth as they transition to adulthood, without supporting them to successful employment and post-secondary opportunities.

— Adam Tenner, MTA’s Executive Director

We expect that youth will stay beyond the 100 hours to explore more in-depth job training, career exploration and health education. As youth move up the ladder of engagement, they receive a range of incentives and even paid positions at Metro TeenAIDS.

— Tiesha Butler-Williams, Leadership Development Coordinator

Corporate and Community Partners: A number of corporate partners are contributing to this effort, by supporting program costs, committing to job training and placement and providing other resources. Accenture, a global management consulting, technology and outsourcing services company, has been a vital partner both in supporting the design of the groundbreaking effort as well as in committing their professional and corporate resources to it. Click here to learn more about Accenture’s corporate citizenship initiative, Skills to Succeed, which aims to equip 500,000 people globally by 2015 with the skills to get a job or build a business.

Accenture is proud and inspired to be working with Metro TeenAIDS to design and implement this program. This new REALTalk initiative represents a comprehensive approach to life readiness that includes job skills, health knowledge and community engagement. The team is excited to be supporting these youth in making healthy choices and developing their leadership capabilities so one day they can become our business and community leaders. 

— Chip Sherrill, Managing Director, Accenture

Join Us: For more information about corporate support, contact Jennifer Bellamy at or 202-543-9355.

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Howard University Journalism Student’s Coverage of MTA at Golden Ticket Event Wed, 18 Dec 2013 07:37:39 +0000 HIV/AIDS youth awareness group Metro Teen AIDS discusses ways in which they keep the teens and young adults in DC informed.

Trouble seeing embedded video? Click here to watch on YouTube.

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MTA’s World AIDS Day Celebration a Great Success! Mon, 09 Dec 2013 20:37:13 +0000

A diverse group of youth from all DC Wards turned out to hear JusPaul, StefLuvaa and Kaye Trill of Will Rap 4 Food and to support their own peers and to celebrate healthy youth. Over 120 youth turned out and 33 were tested at the December 5th World AIDS Day event at Tropicalia on U St NW. Testing occurred in MTA’s RealTalk mobile testing van, parked outside the event.

MTA and District youth also performed a range theatrical, spoken word and musical performances. The talent showcase focused on youth supporting each other, embracing their futures and stopping new HIV infections. For more photos, go to

Special thanks to MTA’s terrific community and corporate partners: Promising Futures, Will Rap 4 Food, Inc., Erace The Hate, Street Wize Foundation and Cricket Communications.

(Above) Peer Ambassadors, Von Turner and ZaTaunia Heard doing condom demonstration at Golden Ticket Party for Prevention on Thursday, Dec. 5th.

ADDITIONAL MEDIA: Watch a Howard University journalism student’s YouTube video about the event.

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World Bank, Helping MTA See Green Mon, 09 Dec 2013 20:34:54 +0000

MTA staff is celebrating technology this holiday season — thanks to a grant from World Bank to purchase 15 tablet computers that will reduce paper consumption and increase efficiencies. The tablets are the first installment of MTA’s efforts to go digital in its program evaluation.

Youth are accustomed to digital formats… so it makes sense to move our outreach from paper to digital. It also makes sense to conduct evaluations on a computer, because data and outcomes are automatically compiled, saving us the more onerous part of the work, compiling from paper. We are so grateful to World Bank’s investment in this effort.

— Kevin Jones, Director of Evaluation and Training

 MTA will use the tablets as a service tool, for programs including peer-to-peer education and outreach, HIV testing coordination as well as to conduct evaluation of programs. This is part of MTA’s ongoing paper reduction efforts and increased efficiencies gained through digital formats. MTA will use the computers for program evaluation in our classroom programs, in capacity building and youth leadership development. The tablets will reduce human error and allow for data and outcomes to be compiled quickly, for easier review of programs and faster program improvements based on evaluation findings.

Thank you again World Bank!

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Family Traditions We Do NOT Want to Continue Mon, 09 Dec 2013 20:34:19 +0000 It’s heart breaking, but real, we are seeing a third generation of youth who are HIV positive. We have HIV positive clients who saw their mothers’ pass away from AIDS complications and they are not taking the steps with their own health to manage their HIV.

This is hard, hard work.

— Melissa Sellevaag, Director of Clinical Services

Multi-generational HIV is a challenge that MTA’s Clinical Services program addresses in many ways, through support groups, mental health counseling and direct social service assistance. Over the last few years, there has been an increase in perinatal HIV infections in DC, which is completely avoidable, with proper pre-natal care. One 20 year old, pregnant client was resisting adherence to her medical regime. This client lost her own mother to AIDS complications and is at risk of doing the same to her own child.

This is where MTA’s own staff members’ personal experiences, coaching and support are so vital. MTA has professional staff who are parents and are HIV positive. They are living examples of health with HIV. These staff members have an authority and understanding in working with clients to reach them personally and speak to them with a love and frankness that others cannot.

Our staff know, first hand, what it’s like to manage HIV: physically and emotionally. They know the stress of parenting and self-care. They know how frustrated a client can get and want to stop medical treatment. When MTA staff call and speak to a client, they have knowledge, expertise and experience that the doctors and nurses who are not HIV positive cannot pretend to have.

Across programs, the personal knowledge and experiences of Metro TeenAIDS staff is what enables us to deliver culturally appropriate and empathetic services.

—  Adam Tenner, Executive Director

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