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Hiv, Adolescents, and Risky Behaviors

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Hiv, Adolescents, and Risky Behaviors

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  • June 10, 2008
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Running head: HIV/AIDS, ADOLESCENTS, AND RISKY SEXUAL BEHAVIOR

HIV/AIDS, adolescents, and risky sexual behavior

HIV/AIDS, adolescents, and risky sexual behavior

Introduction
You can’t smell it, taste it, hear it, or even see it. BUT, it lives inside the bodies of 36 million people worldwide and it’s responsible for the death of many others. It’s the biggest epidemic in human history (Sittitrai, 1998). It’s HIV/AIDS, and it doesn’t care who you are or where you’re from. U.S. public health officials estimate that 20,000 Americans between 13 and 24 years of age are newly infected with HIV every year. Like it or not, HIV/ AIDS is here, so it’s up to you to learn how to live with it. You need to understand your risk and learn about ways to be safe and take responsibility for your own health. (Adolescent AIDS Program at the Children's Hospital at Montefiore Medical Center, New York-Program 2001-02) Thus, practicing safer sex has become an important tool for young adults while making new relations.

Importance of the Study
The lack of systemic education, information and exposure to information regarding the dangers of HIV/AIDS for the youth, has contributed significantly to the increase in risky behavior in the youth, such as unprotected sex with multiple partners, drugs and needle sharing. Youths between the ages of 15 yrs. to 19 yrs. are often easily infected with HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases because of the information deficit. Young and adolescents are the most neglected, vulnerable misinformed group in the fight against AIDS. The disease has reached epidemic proportions. The disease represents tremendous health problems and huge health care costs (Gupta, HOW HIV SPREADS). The disease has threatened blood supply in the United States and in other parts of the world considering the fact that most young people do not have the maturity, experience and range of options that adults usually bring to life’s decision making process, systemic...