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WDKX.com » Blog » Annual Beach Bash for Teens Encourages HIV Testing
Jun 26th 2013 6:20 am
Annual Beach Bash for Teens Encourages HIV Testing

A beach bash at Charlotte is pretty much the kickoff for summer for local teens. The City of Rochester puts on the annual party. The theme is not just about fun but how to have it safely.

Cue the music.
Sign in the teens.

"It's more types of fun than going out and not doing the right thing and doing negative stuff to society," said 15-year old Shariff Clark of Youth Voice One Vision.

For years, the annual Beach Bash at Nola's in Charlotte has been a safe option for teens to get the summer started off on the right track.

"We are trying to kick off the summer with safe summer fun," said Samantha Decker, Department of Recreation and Youth Services.

Safe, being the key word.

"We really try to focus on providing information about health and wellness for our young people," said Decker.

By doing that, several booths are set up offering different resources to teens including information about safe sex, and even a mobile HIV testing site.

"You should always find out if you're sexually active so that's why we have this and a lot of kids nowadays, 13 to 18 age-wise, is where the pregnancies are coming in," said 15-year old Hassan Ross, Youth Voice One Vision.

Organizers with the Department of Recreation and Youth Services say the resources are there for anyone interested, even though getting HIV tested at a party amongst peers can sometimes be a challenge for teens.

"Obviously, you're going to have some doubts in your head but if one person goes and starts a trend then the rest will follow," said 15-year old Malik Manon, Safe Sex Inc.

"Sometimes they don't know where the resources are so if we are able to bring it to them, that's what we try to do," said Decker.

And whether they take advantage or not, organizers say they hope the message behind the bash is clear.

"It's about having fun but it's about the type of fun that you're supposed to have," said Ross.