Since 2013, National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day has been observed on April 10 to recognize the impact of HIV/AIDS on young people and to emphasize the importance of education, prevention, and support. As Christians, we respond to God’s call to compassionately care for our neighbors, particularly for vulnerable youth impacted by this ongoing health crisis.

Throughout the United States, people aged 13-24 accounted for 19% of new HIV diagnoses in 2021. Many factors, including lack of comprehensive sexual health education, stigma, and limited access to healthcare services, add to this challenge.

By fostering safe and non-judgmental spaces in our churches, we can encourage young people to seek the information they need to protect their health and safety. Churches can also contribute financially or volunteer to assist organizations that provide information, testing and treatment services for HIV/AIDS. Partnering with local health departments and community-based organizations can help ensure that young people have access to the care they need. Through empathy and action, we can equip all people with more knowledge and resources.

Today, we pray especially for all young people affected by HIV/AIDS and ask for God’s guidance in creating a world where all youth can thrive.

Loving God,

On National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, we pray for all young people touched by this disease. Grant them courage, comfort, and hope as they face their struggles. Help us create a world where all young people receive education, resources, and support to live healthy and whole lives. Let us follow the example of your Son, Jesus Christ, who reached out to the marginalized with healing and inclusion. Empower us to be Christ’s hands and feet, sharing your compassion as we care for the vulnerable and create safe spaces free of stigma or judgment. Give us the wisdom and strength to break down barriers to treatment and stand alongside all youth impacted by HIV/AIDS.

We pray this in the name of Jesus, the Great Physician, who taught us to love one another as you love us. Amen.