Addressing Needs of Young Adults With HIV

Since 1982, as the first therapeutically designed summer camp in the United States for HIV/AIDS youth, Camp Sunburst has served thousands of San Francisco Bay Area youth and families. Over three decades Camp Sunburst has provided social and educational experiences that have had a profound impact, and exposed at risk youth to experiences they may not have had prior, had available access to, or may have lost access from. Program strategic interventions include youth leadership, leadership development, and peer mentorship and education. Through a range of recreational activities such as hiking, rope course challenges, fishing, canoeing, and stargazing, campers gain an understanding and appreciation for nature, and at the same time are able to reconnect to the world around them. Our hope is to provide each camper with a series of educational processes and adventures that inspire curiosity to help them gain a greater understanding of themselves, their environment, and life’s connections — humans to nature, people to people, and present to future. Camp Sunburst is a sustainable and replicable psychosocial supportive intervention that today continues to serve as a best practice program model worldwide.

Dedicated to making sure that youth friendly care services are available as well for older youth, our 4-day One Love Conference (OLC) offers the San Francisco Bay Area community a continuum of care for young adults ages 18-26 living with HIV/AIDS.

The conference is designed to prepare participants for navigating difficult health service systems and expand their personal health resource network. Not only is OLC free of cost to attendees, it is unique and effective because everything, including the schedule, conference discussion topics and workshops, are designed with input and leadership from a Youth Task Force made up of highly creative and motivated young adults living with HIV/AIDS. Through dynamic discussions and workshops about the unique challenges faced living as a young adult with HIV/AIDS, OLC also provides a safe and supportive setting to process, and support with like minds topics such as stigma, gender identity, sexual partnerships, disclosure, medical and adherence issues, discrimination and loss.

As of 2017, 21.6% of new cases of HIV in California were among the 13-26 year old age group. In the San Francisco Bay area over 400 young people have HIV and are on Anti-Retroviral therapy. Sunburst Project’s One Love Conference offers 4 days of addressing the specific needs of young adults living with the disease. Sunburst Projects, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, relies on the generous donations of individuals and organizations in Northern California so that we can continue our important work in the community. If you would like to help, or if you know a young adult who would benefit from our One Love Conference, please contact Lorena Cardona at (916) 440-0889 ext. 308. Please visit our website at www.sunburstprojects.org.

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