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Health and Family Services Cabinet
Department for Public Health Sponsors Essay Contest to Raise Awareness of HIV/AIDS

Press Release Date:  Monday, February 25, 2008  
Contact Information:  Gwenda Bond or Beth Fisher, (502) 564-6786, ext. 4012  

Contest Targets African-American, Hispanic Youths

The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) is sponsoring an essay contest challenging Kentucky teenagers to learn more about HIV/AIDS and the impact the disease has on their generation.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), African-American and Hispanic youths, respectively, make up 60 percent and 17 percent of all HIV/AIDS youth cases (13-24 year olds) diagnosed from 2001 to 2005. Similar impacts can be observed in Kentucky’s African-American and Hispanic youths. While the two groups represent a small portion of the population, African-American and Hispanic youths represent 38.8 percent and 10.5 percent of living AIDS cases reported in Kentucky through Dec. 31, 2006. 

“We’re sponsoring this essay contest in hopes of making young people more aware of the impact HIV/AIDS has on their communities and how they can contribute to the fight against it by becoming HIV/AIDS advocates for their generation,” said Sigga Jagne, manager of the HIV/AIDS branch in DPH.

The goal of the essay contest is to educate and inspire Kentucky’s minority youth to take action and help stop the increasing spread of HIV/AIDS among young people in minority populations. The contest is open to minority youths age 13 to 18 who live in Kentucky. 

“We are looking for compelling essays that demonstrate the impact of HIV/AIDS on young people’s lives and how each young person, as an individual, can help others learn about the disease,” said Jagne.

Three finalists will be chosen to present their essays at the Eighth Annual African-American and Hispanic Youth Conference on AIDS on April 26 at the University of Kentucky Student Center. DPH will award prizes to the top three winners.

If interested, please review the attached essay requirements. All essay submissions must be postmarked by March 31, 2008. If you have any questions, please contact Michael Hambrick, HIV prevention coordinator, DPH/HIV/AIDS Branch, at 1-800-420-7431, ext. 3560 or e-mail

Entry Guidelines

1. Open to all African American and Hispanic/Latino
      youth, ages 13-18.

2. Contestants must reside in the state of Kentucky.

3. Essay should be no longer than one (1) page.

4. Essay must be typed and single spaced.

5. Essays must be submitted with the fully completed form below, indicating parental consent.

6. Essay finalists must be present during the 8th Annual African-American and Hispanic/Latino Youth Conference on AIDS at the University of Kentucky Student Center, 200 Avenue of Champions,  Lexington, Ky., on  April 26, 2008.

7. Prizes will only be awarded during the conference. Finalists must be present to win.

8. Essay submissions must be postmarked by March 31, 2008.

9. Please complete the information sheet below and return with essay.

Send to:
ESSAY Contest
C/O Michael Hambrick
Department for Public Health
 275 E. Main Street, HS2E-C
 Frankfort, KY  40621


Date of Birth _______/_________/_____________



Home Phone_______________________________

Parental Contact _________________________________     Phone Number _________________

□  By signing this, I agree that the essay submitted is my own work, and I agree to all essay requirements.


□   I consent to let the above youth participate in the How Can I be a Youth Advocate for HIV/AIDS in the Kentucky? essay contest, Youth Conference events, and required presentations.





Last Updated 2/25/2008