Ariel Sernick

pronouns: she, her, hers 

Ariel moved to Vancouver from Toronto in 2016 and getting involved with YouthCO has been her favourite part about living on the west coast! Ariel loves youth-centred environments and has worked with young people in Vancouver, Toronto and New York in various capacities, including as a teacher, camp counsellor, and sexual health educator. Ariel is passionate about youth-focused health promotion and de-stigmatizing HIV in our community and globally. She strongly believes that HIV criminalization hurts everyone, especially youth living with HIV. Ariel is a masters student at UBC and works as a qualitative researcher at the Centre for Gender and Sexual Health Equity. Her research focuses on how gender can shape experiences of the criminalization of HIV non-disclosure, especially among youth and young women. She is enthusiastic about using law, policy and research to improve experiences of health and wellbeing. When she’s not at work or at school, Ariel enjoys binge-watching reality TV and snuggling with dogs!


YouthCO's office is located on the unceded traditional territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh and Tsleil-Waututh people. Our programs take place on unceded, ancestral, and traditional territories of many Indigenous nations across what is now called BC.

YouthCO believes that all youth have the right to accessible and affirming information about our health. We also know each of us has a unique relationship to our bodies, sex, sexuality, substance use, and harm reduction. For many of us, the words other people use for our bodies and their functions are not the words we use for ourselves. Throughout our website, YouthCO uses words for bodies and sex that we know will not reflect the full diversity of our communities. We have tried to, where possible, be as expansive with our language as we know how to while being as specific as possible. As youth leading the HIV movement, we too are learning about the best words for our experiences and do not do this perfectly. We invite any feedback about the language used on our website to help us move forward in the best ways for all youth in our communities!