On Thursday, August 30, TGP received a competitive grant in the amount of $30,500 from the HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD, and TB Administration (HAHSTA) to launch a new program, the “Rock the Block” campaign.
Through this grant, TGP is excited to team up with the Department of Health and several other community organizations to increase the number of DC teens who know their HIV status.
TGP will train 15 NCAA athletes from Howard, Georgetown, and George Washington Universities as HIV/AIDS testers and counselors. We will then team up with community organizations to throw “Rock the Block” events for eight local high schools. At the events, students will participate in condensed TGP educational programs, play sports, and enjoy food and music. Free and confidential HIV and STD screening will also be offered, and attendees will be encouraged to get tested.
The World Health Organization estimates that one out of every 8 young people that has HIV does not know it. “Even though HIV/AIDS is a big problem in our city, rates of testing among teenagers is low,” said TGP founder Tyler Spencer. “We are excited to play a more proactive role by not just encouraging youth to get tested, but also offering the tests ourselves. Knowing your status is one of the most important things you can do in the fight against HIV/AIDS.”
The Rock the Block Campaign was originally conceptualized as part of our participation in the Clinton Global Initiative University Meeting in April 2012.