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AIDS: Youth speak out about HIV/AIDS @ 30

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Marlin Pierre

Youth today have the highest percentage of contracting HIV. Today's society of youth is not educated on how harmful this disease is. Most youth are not informed or taught the fundamentals of what HIV is and how it could be prevented.

Most youth are having sex with numerous people and are not using protection. Because of this the percentage of HIV detected has risen. Most youth feel that using a condom takes away from the full feel of sex. But little do they know that it's a helpful tool, and it could prevent someone from catching an STD or HIV.

Also, they have condoms that make sex feel the same just as if there wasn't one being used.

Most would argue and say that condoms are not 100% effective and I would agree but it's the initiative of being smart and playing it safe to keep yourself protected and safe.

Another leading cause of the HIV epidemic rising is people are selfish and immature. Some don't even tell if they have HIV or AIDS. This is so wrong because why put someone else's life at risk because you made a big mistake and contracted the disease. You should always have the positive concept to tell your significant other that you have HIV or AIDS. Because this can also prevent that person from spreading it and also help you from giving it to the partner you are with.

I asked a few of my friends what they thought about HIV and why it is STILL on the rise on our demographic:

Shawn: "HIV is spread because of unprotected sex."

Kris: "Youth today spread the virus because they are sleeping with multiple partners."

Cory: "HIV can be prevented if more youth were educated about it and were using more protection and being cautious."

Jermaill: "HIV is on the rise because people are not caring about themselves and are insecure with themselves and don't care who they sleep with or spread the virus to."

The epidemic can be prevented but the youth have to be willing to listen. HIV is deadly but can be prevented, but there are those out there who don't care and will spread it.

The youth today are arrogant and naive and feel that it's OK to have sex and that's true, but there are consequences to everything if you don't play it safe. If more people were to wear condoms and have a healthy relationship with their lover, the percentages of youth with HIV would decrease substantially.

Drug use is also a cause to why HIV is being spread. The sharing of needles is becoming popular amongst those who do drugs. People that do drugs are not even sure if they even have HIV and if they do know they might not tell someone they do because it's all about that next hit to get high.

The youth need to take control of their lives and say enough is enough. And get help on how to prevent them from contacting HIV or AIDS.

Brian Williams

In society today, HIV is becoming a major problem with young gay youth. Not only is it a problem, it's becoming a major epidemic and is on the rise. Most young gay guys, or should I say youth, are not educated on the fundamentals about HIV or AIDS. The youth are not the only ones blame. We as a whole community need to take responsibility.

The youth are sleeping around with another, raping others, and even doing drugs and sharing needles. They're not informed on how serious this is and the deadly outcome it can have on one's life. These young people today only care about pleasing instead of being educated.

This epidemic of HIV is still occurring because the youth are sleeping around and having unprotected sex with each other or with a significant other.

Now in my eyes why wouldn't you want to wear a condom? Who knows what this person has or how many people that person has been with. The youth need to control themselves and understand how this is becoming a major issue around the world.

Another cause of AIDS is being raped or molested by someone. There are unbearable numbers of rapes occurring in the U.S. Many of these rapes occur with gay youth. There are "straight" men out there who prey on gay youth and who have HIV or AIDS and feel that they can spread it. But also you have other gay youth raping each other who also have the disease and virus. Now as cruel as that sounds, you have some nasty people out here who go seeking out youth. This raping needs to stop because this virus is destroying the youth.

The disease should be feared and the youth should take precautions. However, you have those who are in a valuable relationship with someone else who may have the disease or virus and the other one doesn't even know about it. How can you be in a relationship and not tell your significant other that you have HIV? Do you know that you are putting their life at risk of contacting it? This is a problem.

Insecurities play a part in this because you feel that you must please your partner and not use a condom. Condoms are effective and all youth should use them. Especially those who know they have the virus and will prove that they care about their lover or partner.

Lastly, drugs are another reason why HIV is spreading. Youth are out here doing crack, cocaine, heroin, etc. While doing so to get high, they sometimes share needles with whomever. You don't know if the person has HIV or not. So why use a needle after them?

A prevention plan around all these topics needs to occur to help the youth and show them and teach them a more positive approach on how to prevent the epidemic of HIV and AIDS.

James Bibbs

HIV has been a big issue since the early 1980s and has grown rapidly ever since. I never knew there were so many people in the U.S. with HIV and that it can spread in the snap of a finger.

"HIV can be deadly if you don't use protection," my sister said when I asked her what does she know about what HIV can do to a person. I honestly believe that the reason HIV is still spreading around is due to the fact that people are not telling their partners and are not getting tested for HIV.

Many people think that having HIV is cool to have and they don't care whether they have it or not. Everybody in the U.S. should get tested so they can know if they have it or not. HIV is not a good thing to have or brag about.

"Wrap it up or die" as my grandmother used to tell me when she was telling me about HIV and AIDS. It's very much important that everybody in the world does this if they don't want to catch it.

When I think about sex I think about a condom—but then again I don't because sometimes I use it and sometimes even I don't. When I talk to people about HIV they say "I hate using condoms". I say you should use a condom because that's the right thing to do when you have sex. If not, at least use a woman's condom and insert it inside the partner and then you're good to go.

Just make sure you know how to properly use a condom. If you just put the condom on and do not know what you are doing then it's like you didn't put one on to begin with and you are still at a higher risk.

I also believe that the reason HIV is still spreading is through drug usage and sharing needles and also oral sex. Oral sex is a lower risk but at the same time you still can catch it. Sharing needles is still bad because you don't know what the other person has and what they have been doing or who they have been with.

We are African-American and society looks at us as the main target for HIV and the reason is because of the fact that the transmission rate is at the rate it is at today! But yet there are many white people suffering with HIV and AIDS as well. We are not the only people with the situation.

So as a whole we need to help spread the word and be safe as well as use condoms and protection and lube instead of lotion. Just overall be safe and live life without having to worry about if we are at the risk of having HIV OR AIDS.

"Live, Love, Laugh, Life" as my mom always said: the 4 L's is what you should focus on.

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