Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Indestructible Teens Can Be Aids Victims

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Indestructible Teens Can Be Aids Victims

Article excerpt

Dear Open Mind: I recently lost a very good friend to AIDS. I find it very frustrating and sad to know that our teen-age population isn't taking this terrible disease more seriously.

They seem so sure it can't happen to them! How can I impress upon my son that it isn't "square" or "old fashioned" to wait until he's married to have sex. It could mean his life! We can restrict smoking, drinking, gambling and driving until a certain age but often kids are sexually active before they become teen-agers. What can we do?

It is difficult for young people to believe they can become victims of devastating accidents or disease. They often have a sense of indestructibility. This may be especially true concerning AIDS, because it was initially presented as a problem affecting gays and IV drug users. But, AIDS has spread through the population and we need to educate our children about all aspects of this disease. They need to know how they can remain safe from getting AIDS and one of these ways, certainly, is through sexual abstinence until marriage.

We must also make sure we teach our children about keeping our blood supply safe, not getting involved in illegal drug use and safety precautions concerning bodily fluids. Perhaps the best way to teach children about AIDS is to let them meet people with the disease. Let them see first hand how this disease affects the quality of life for AIDS patients and their families. Unfortunately, victims of this disease are all ages, including teen-agers. …

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