The Truth About HIV / AIDS & Teens -Vol. 313, June 11, 2015
This is a particularly important subject and one that I need to do a bit of education on.
Let’s start at the beginning and learn what these terms mean.
AIDS, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is caused by HIV, other wise known in longhand as he human immunodeficiency virus, which weakens the immune system, allowing infections and diseases to enter the body causing all sorts of havoc for the person so compromised.
According to the Center for Disease Control:
- Youth aged 13 to 24 accounted for an estimated 26% of all new HIV infections in the United States in 2010.
- Most new HIV infections among youth occur among gay and bisexual males; there was a 22% increase in estimated new infections in this group from 2008 to 2010.
- Over 50% of youth with HIV in the United States do not know they are infected.
- In 2010, youth made up 17% of the US population, but accounted for an estimated 26% (12,200) of all new HIV infections (47,500) in the United States.
- In 2010, young gay and bisexual men accounted for an estimated 19% (8,800) of all new HIV infections in the United States and 72% of new HIV infections among youth. These young men were the only age group that showed a significant increase in estimated new infections—22% from 2008 (7,200) through 2010 (8,800).
- In 2010, black youth accounted for an estimated 57% (7,000) of all new HIV infections among youth in the United States, followed by Hispanic/Latino (20%, 2,390) and white (20%, 2,380) youth.
- An estimated 9,961 youth were diagnosed with HIV infection in the United States in 2013, representing 21% of an estimated 47,352 people diagnosed during that year. Eighty-one percent (8,053) of these diagnoses occurred in those aged 20 to 24, the highest number of HIV diagnoses of any age group.
- At the end of 2012, there were an estimated 62,400 youth living with HIV in the United States. Of these, 32,000 were living with undiagnosed HIV infection.
- In 2013, an estimated 2,704 youth were diagnosed with AIDS, representing 10% of the 26,688 people diagnosed with AIDS that year.
- In 2012, an estimated 156 youth with AIDS died, representing 1% of the13,712 people with AIDS who died that year.
The virus spreads through fluids in the body. Blood being a main conduit to the disease makes needle sharing is a horrific idea. Most often the disease spreads through oral, vaginal and anal sex, especially when condoms are not used. It is not spread through sweat, tears, or saliva.
This may be a shocking fact, but the number one way heterosexual females gets AIDS is through sex with men. It is the second most common way for heterosexual men to get aids. More men contract AIDS, yet, the proportion of woman contracting it is increasing.
Using drugs and alcohol are a bad idea because it leads to poor judgment while lowering your inhibitions, maybe leading you to having unprotected sex.
The signs of having AIDS are very similar to many other illnesses, so the only way to know if you have contracted it or not, is to have a blood test for AIDS done by a reputable testing facility.
Here are the signs to look for if you have had unprotected sexual relations or shared a needle with someone (even if not with drugs, but with tattooing yourself).
- Weight loss
- Frequent fevers
- Lack of energy
- Swollen lymph glands in the armpits, groin, or neck
- Persistent skin rashes
- Severe herpes infections that cause mouth, genital or anal sores.
- Short-term memory loss
Older sexual partners have a higher likelihood of being infected with a sexually transmitted disease.
Many teens believe that they are not concerned about being infected, which means they may not take the proper precautions against contracting AIDS.
And unfortunately there is a very high proportion of students 12 – 20 who are using alcohol coming in at 47%, while 10% of youth 12 to 17 admit to using illicit drugs, and among the 34% of currently sexually active youth, 22% admitted using alcohol or drugs before having sexual relations.
Be smart and use the brain you have to keep yourself aware of what you are doing at all times. If you have sexual relations, use a latex condom and above all stay away from needles and drug use.
If you know someone who is demonstrating risky behavior, be a real friend and encourage your friend to stop using the substances that are putting them at risk. Help them to gain professional help, because if you are willing to do this, you may very well save a life.
Learnings From My Journey: Suzannisms For the Mind and Soul
Learnings From My Journey: Suzannisms for the Mind and Soul is a book of essays based on the wisdom gained through those who have touched me through my own journey in life. Purchase an inspiring copy today from the Dawning Visions Hypnosis Store.Learnings From My Journey: Suzannisms For the Mind and Soul
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