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International AIDS Activist Takes Final Steps in 5-Year Global Walk

Published 02-02-04

Submitted by Dr. John B. Chittick

BOSTON - Dr. John B. Chittick of Boston is set to complete the last steps in his major humanitarian mission to train the world's youth to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS. After successfully completing a series of Global Walks over five years (1999 - 2004), he arrives back in the US on Friday, January 30.

From some of the world's most impoverished urban slums to remote rural outposts, Dr. Chittick directly interacted with teens on their turf. He trained approximately 150,000 adolescent volunteers to be peer teachers, calling the creation of an international PeerCorps: "a worldwide youth movement to fight their generation's biggest enemy, HIV/AIDS," he stated.

UNAIDS (Geneva) currently reports that 50% of all new cases of HIV occur among young people, 15 to 24 years old. Dr. Chittick first predicted the coming of this youth pandemic in his doctoral research at Harvard University (Adolescents and AIDS: The Third Wave, Harvard, 1994).

"I go anywhere there is a need for educating teens to help their peers. I work in America as well as the world at large because we're dealing with a worldwide pandemic that knows no borders," Chittick said.

Dr. Chittick has volunteered the last five years of his life to this cause. He accepts no salary for his work. Having depleted his life savings on the world journey, Chittick said, "It's a small price to pay considering the serious implications of the growing AIDS epidemic on the younger generation and the lives that are being lost."

Critical of many adult institutions, governments and schools for not doing more to educate youth in the medical facts, Chittick stated it is his belief that "Open and honest access to the medical facts is the human right of every maturing teen." Arrested in Cuba, threatened with kidnapping in Colombia, harassed by police in Syria, detained in Kenya for speaking in public without a license, and having his handbills confiscated in China, Chittick has walked the talk. "I have no regrets if even one young life has been saved from AIDS."

Dr. Chittick currently serves as Executive Director of TeenAIDS-PeerCorps, Inc.(Boston), a non-profit organization that is funded entirely by hundreds of private donors through tax-deductible donations. He is now writing a book on his experiences.

Contact Dr. Chittick at 978-665-9383
email: chittick@post.harvard.edu
internet: http://www.teenaids.org
Media info: Photos and video can be downloaded from the website

Dr. John B. Chittick

Dr. John B. Chittick

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