A Look Into Youth Perception of HIV

July 17, 2017 at 11:21 am Leave a comment

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An article was published to address the views of HIV in teens today:

“But you can’t treat what you aren’t aware of. According to the CDC, only 10 percent of sexually experienced high school students have been tested for HIV.”

“That’s a failure of the system for youth,” said Adam Leonard, a nurse practitioner with the San Francisco Department of Public Health who provides PrEP and HIV care to youth and works as an assistant clinical professor of nursing at the University of California at San Francisco. “It means we’re not having conversations with youth in the first place. We’re making assumptions about youth who are and are not ‘at risk’ for HIV or youth aren’t willing to disclose their sexual activity because of stigma.”

The lack of dialogue is key, according to the dozen or so experts—doctors, youth educators, youth living with HIV—I interviewed for this article. This is not an easy to talk about, and given the cultural intersections of 2017—the “historical privilege” combined with the considerable rates of new infections among youth—it’s a difficult subject for some teens to wrap their heads around. A Kaiser Family Foundation survey from 2012 found that “most young people say they are not hearing much about HIV/AIDS. Three out of five say they ‘rarely’ (37 percent) or ‘never’ (27 percent) saw or read any news coverage about HIV/AIDS or other STDs in the last year. It is also not coming up much in everyday conversation: 39 percent say HIV or other STDs have not come up at all in the last year.”

Read the full article here!

 

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