AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases .pdf
Read the Pastoral Letter on HIV/AIDS:
The Fullness of Life
Terms To Clarify
HIV - Human Immunodeficiency Virus, the virus
that causes AIDS. A person may be infected with HIV for many
years before they develop AIDS.
AIDS - Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome,
the HIV virus gradually weakens the immune system until it
cannot protect the person from diseases or infections.
STD - Sexually Transmitted Disease, (gonorrhea,
chlamydia, syphilis, genital herpes, genital warts) –
infections transmitted through sexual contact – vaginal,
oral or anal.
- There are more than 55 STDs, including HIV.
- Infection with an STD increases 3 to 5 times the risk
of HIV infection.
- One in four sexually exposed teens are infected with
- A person can get a disease from having sex
even if it is the first time.
- 75% of infected women have no symptoms
- 50% of infected men have no symptoms
- STDs, like syphilis and HIV/AIDS, can kill.
- STDs, like the human papilloma virus which
causes genital warts, may cause cancer of the cervix of the
uterus or the penis.
- STDs can cause infertility in women and men.
Teens & HIV/AIDS
- 364 million people worldwide live with HIV
- 800,000 to 1 million Americans infected
- 40,000 new HIV infections each year in US
- 100 Americans infected with HIV each day
- Women are the fastest growing HIV group
- 52% of women infected by heterosexual sex
- AIDS = 5th cause of death in men 25-44 yrs.
#1 cause of death for black men
3rd cause of death for Hispanic men
- AIDS = 4th cause of death in women 25-44 yrs.
2nd cause of death for black women
3rd cause of death for Hispanic women
The HIV/AIDS virus is mainly spread by:
- 123,000 young adults develop AIDS in 20s
- ½ new HIV infections young people 15-24 yrs.
(These young people were infected when teens)
- 2 teens get infected each hour
- African American & Hispanic youth,
13-19 yrs, are 15% of U.S. teens have but they have 67% of
- Only 44% of HIV-positive teens take their
antiviral medicine all of the time
- Teens having anal sex or using alcohol & drugs
have a higher risk of STD/HIV infection.
- The greater the number of sexual partners,
the greater the risk of HIV infection.
- Most teens don’t know they are infected
The HIV/AIDS virus is not spread by:
- sexual intercourse, vaginal, oral or anal, with an
- an HIV-infected mother to her baby before
birth or by breast feeding
- tattoos, body piercing or sharing needles with an
- by the use of infected blood products
Teachers’ Concerns - With powerful antiviral
medication prolonging HIV infected persons’ lives, some
students view HIV infection like diabetes, you just take medicine
for it. They do not realize that these medicines must be taken
100% of the time to work and prevent the HIV infection from
becoming resistant to them. They are also very toxic, can cause
kidney stones and/or destroy the liver.
- breathing, coughing or sneezing.
- mosquito or other bug bites
- using telephones or toilets
- shaking hands or hugging
- social kissing
- sharing food, cups, spoons
Remember the only way to protect your children is to educate
them to make healthy choices.
- Ask what they have heard about HIV/AIDS on television
or in school.
- Start the conversation with a discussion about choices.
Emphasize that every choice has consequences, both good and
bad. Start by discussing simple choices, like doing homework
or watching television. For each choice try to list the good
and the bad things that can result. Work up to more complicated
choices, like engaging in sexual activity or abstaining until
ready for a mutually monogamous relationship in marriage.
- Newspapers, magazines and television are filled with stories
and advertisements about HIV/AIDS. This can be an opportunity
to start your discussion. Other conversation starters can
be health fairs and AIDS walks.
- Tape television shows on HIV/AIDS and preview them BEFORE
watching them with your children. Many will have a “safe
sex” message that you want to be prepared to discuss.
(See “Parents & Kids Talk About Sex” fact
sheet on condom confusion.)
- Teach your child about how HIV/AIDS can and cannot be spread.
- Reassure your child that you are not discussing this topic
because you assume that your child is having sex or taking
- Teach your child that Jesus calls us to help and to pray
for people who are infected with HIV/AIDS not to discriminate
- If you can’t answer their question, let them know
that you will find the answer.
- Don’t try to say everything at once. If your first
attempt is brief, you can use other opportunities to continue
- Pray with and for our children remembering that God loves
them more than we do. “See I will not forget you...I
have carved you in the palm of my hand.” Isaiah 49:15
Mary Lee O’Connell, CRNP - 8/04