Often when I hear adults talking about safe sex with young people, I hear…

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Often when I hear adults talking about safe sex with young people, I hear them warning about teenage pregnancy or herpes. If HIV is mentioned, it’s an afterthought. It seems that people aren’t talking about HIV the way they used to, even though it is still a HUGE issue in the US.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2009, 39% of all new HIV infections were youth aged 13-29. HIV disproportionately affects African American youth and gay and bisexual male youth, which could be caused by a lot of factors, including lack of resources and education. It is important for all youth to fight against infection and educate themselves and their communities in order to put an end to needless infection.

What can you do to help spread the word about preventing HIV infection?

  • ● Educate yourself and talk to your friends.
  • ● Talk to them about wearing condoms and getting tested often; knowing your HIV status is as important as knowing your partner’s status.
  • ● If someone you know is HIV positive it’s important that they understand what that means and that they are honest with their sexual partners.
  • ● Make sure you and your peers understand that HIV is a lifelong disease and infection shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Erasing the stigma around talking about sex and HIV is the number one step to educating each other. So check out these links, educate yourself and talk to a friend today!

Advocates For Youth
National Resource Center for HIV/AIDS Prevention
United Nations Population Fund

– Katrina