Area teens shocked by statistics form program to help confront HIV/AIDS

They took a look at the statistics: Those at highest risk for HIV infection are between the ages of 13 and 23. And then the group of teens looked around and realized: those numbers represented themselves.

The teens recently started a new forum called Prevent and Prevail to initiate open conversations about sex, HIV and AIDS.

Frustrated with the constrained atmosphere in school health classes, the teens said they decided it was time to take action. They piloted the forum this month with a small group of people at the Jim Toy Community Center at 319 Braun Court, in Ann Arbor.

The teens are all a part of Dedicated to Make a Change, a nonprofit youth organization in Ypsilanti that promotes social responsibility, justice and diversity through action. Among them are Nils Wilcoxen, 16; Allison Melcher, 16; and Cleo Ku, 15 — all students at the Early College Alliance at Eastern Michigan University.

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