National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day (NHAAAD) is September 18th


Since 2008, National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day (NHAAAD) has been celebrated on September 18th. 


What is HIV/AIDS?

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus that attacks body cells thus weakening the immune system, making the infected individual less capable of fighting off infections and disease. Once a person is infected, they will always be infected. While there is currently no cure, there are treatment options available. If left untreated, HIV can develop into a more advanced stage known as Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). This advanced stage is indicated by the number of CD4 cells in the infected individual’s blood (less than 200 cells per cubic millimeter of blood). 

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Why is this an important issue? 

Life expectancy without treatment in people with AIDS is typically about three years. This window of time is shorted if the infected individual has another critical illness. Unfortunately, roughly one in eight people living with HIV and/or AIDS are denied critical health services on account of HIV-related stigma and discrimination. Stigma around HIV and AIDS exists largely due to the circulation of inaccurate information about how HIV is transmitted, leading many to misperceive personal risk and act irrationally. At its extreme, stigma can result in loss of income and livelihood, loss of marriage and childbearing options, feelings of worthlessness, and overall marginalization, among other consequences, for people with HIV. 

In short: stigma leads to sickness.   


What can you do to help?

    • Positive? Connect to care, start HIV treatment, stay in care, keep the virus under control
    • Negative? Increase HIV awareness, emphasize need for prevention, research and increased medical understanding
    • People living with HIV have the right to live free from criminalization, discrimination and stigma, the right to education to make informed decisions about their sexual health, the right to prevention, treatment and care yet many face oppression on a daily basis. Wearing the red ribbon is a sign of support and advocacy for people living with HIV, and works effectively towards ending the HIV stigma by protecting, including, empowering, and educating. 


Important dates to keep in mind:

  • National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day February 7
  • National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day March 10
  • National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day March 20 
  • National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day April 10
  • National Transgender HIV Testing Day April 18
  • National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day May 19
  • HIV Vaccine Awareness Day May 18
  • HIV Long-Term Survivors Day June 5
  • National HIV Testing Day June 27
  • National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day September 27
  • National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day 
  • World AIDS Day December 1
  • Keep an eye out for free clinic testing in December!




Happy National Kids Take over the Kitchen Day!


4e658bdb2db33f12a5be7a0dfe6914e7.jpgThis Friday, September 13th is National Kids Take over the Kitchen Day. Sponsored by the Young Chef’s Academy (YCA), this holiday aims to get youth more engaged in meal planning, preparation and cooking. Cooking as a family is not only a fun way to bond, but additionally works to fight against the unhealthy eating habits that are prevalent in today’s society. Plus, your kids can pick up basic cooking skills that they can carry with them for the rest of their lives!

Try some of these fun, simple, and HEALTHY recipes at home with your kids:


Smoothie Bowl (10 min total)


  • 1 frozen, ripe banana
  • 1 cup frozen fruit of choice, in small pieces/chunks (suggestions: berries, pineapple, mango, peaches, melon, etc.)
  • ½ cup greens (suggestions: spinach, kale)
  • ½ cup liquid (water, 100% apple or orange juice, milk (dairy or non-dairy alternative like almond, coconut, or oat)
  • 2 tbsp protein of choice (suggestions: yogurt or non-dairy yogurt alternative, nut butters, whey protein, chia seeds, hemp seeds, uncooked oats)
  • Toppings of choice (suggestions: sliced fresh fruit, dry fruit, granola, cocoa nibs, shredded coconut, sliced almonds, honey, flax seeds, cinnamon)


  1. Combine frozen banana, other frozen fruit, greens, liquid and protein in blender and puree until smooth. ***Pro tip: Add liquid little by little to avoid having a soupy smoothie bowl! Additionally, add more frozen fruit for a thicker consistency.***
  2. Pour smoothie into bowl and top with toppings of choice to taste


Chipotle Chicken* Quinoa Burrito Bowl (30 min prep/10 min cook/40 min total)

*Sub chicken for your favorite meat alternative!


  • 1 tbsp finely chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 lb boneless skinlless chicken breast or other vegetarian/vegan protein alternative (suggestion: cubed tofu or MorningStar Farms Veggie Chik’N Strips)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup canned pinto or black beans, rinsed
  • 1 ripe avocado, diced
  • ¼ cup salsa of choice (suggestion: pico de gallo)
  • ¼ cup shreddad cheddar cheese
  • Lime wedges for serving


  • Pre-heat grill to medium-high
  • Combine chipotles, oil, garlic powder and cumin in a small bowl
  • Oil grill rack and grill chicken for 5 min (or prepare protein alternative as needed), then turn and brush with chipotle glaze and continue cooking until done (for chicken: ~165° F at thickest part, ~3-5 min); transfer to cutting board and chop into bite-sized pieces
  • Assemble burrito bowl as desired (suggestion: ½ cup quinoa, ½ cup chicken, ½ cup lettuce, ¼ cup beans, ¼ avocado, 1 tbsp pico de gallo (or other salsa) and 1 tbsp cheese, plus lime wedge)


Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili (25 min prep/26 min cook/51 min total)


  • 1 tbsp + 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium-large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp chilli powder
  • 4 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground chipotle chile
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 2 15-oz. cans black beans, rinsed
  • 1 14-oz. can diced tomato
  • 4 tsp lime juice
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped


  • Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat then add sweet potato and onion, stirring until the onion begins to soften (~4 min)
  • Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, chipotle, and salt, and stir constantly for 30 seconds; add water and bring to a simmer, then cover and reduce heat to maintain simmer, cooking until the sweet potato is tender (~10-12 min)
  • Add beans, tomatoes and lime juice and increase heat to high, stirring often; reduce heat and simmer until slightly reduced (~5 min)
  • Remove pot from heat and stir in cilantro

Serve with: tortilla chips or cornbread

Hungry for more? Find more kid-friendly recipes here.

Happy cooking!



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