Health 8: STIs, HIV and AIDS
- Identify and describe the responsibilities and consequences associated with involvement in a sexual relationship
- Describe symptoms, effects, treatments, and prevention for common sexually transmitted diseases
What Are Some Responsibilities of Being Sexually Active? What Are Some Consequences?
- Statistics show that over 56% of STIs occur in the 15 – 24 year old group within Alberta
- Youth aged 13 to 24 accounted for an estimated 26% of all new HIV infections in the United States in 2010.
- Youth aged 13-29 accounted for 39% of all new HIV cases in the United States in 2009 (the 15-29 age group makes up only 21% of the general U.S. population).
What is HIV/AIDs?
- Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system. There is no cure for HIV, but medication can reduce the amount of virus in the body and help you to stay healthy. Without treatment, HIV damages the immune system and may become Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
What are HIV/AIDs Symptoms?
- Many people are don't or feel sick for years after they are infected. During this time, they are still contagious and can infect others. This can be for ten years or more!
- When you have HIV your nervous and immune systems become damaged. That means you become become sick with different illnesses (infections and cancers).
What Causes HIV?
- HIV is found in semen, blood, breast milk, vaginal and anal fluids. Most people get HIV by having unprotected vaginal or anal sex with someone who has HIV. In some cases, HIV may be passed during unprotected oral sex.
- Sharing needles or syringes with someone who is infected.
- Tattooing, piercing, or acupuncture with unsterilized needles.
- During pregnancy, at birth or through breastfeeding, an infected mother can pass the virus on to her child.
How Do You Reduce the Risk of Getting and Spreading HIV?
- Sexual transmission of HIV occurs when infected semen, vaginal, or other body fluids contact mucosal surfaces, such as the male urethra, the vagina, or cervix. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), a number of carefully conducted studies, employing rigorous methods and measures, have demonstrated that consistent condom use is highly effective in preventing HIV transmission. A.K.A. USE CONDOMS. EVERY TIME. FOR ALL FORMS OF SEX. WITH EVERY PARTNER. CORRECTLY AND CONSISTENTLY.
- Do not share needles or syringes.
- Do your research before selecting a place to get tattoos and body piercings. Do not get 'stick and pokes' done by your friends.
- Consider abstinence.
- Talk to your partner and ask them to be tested.
- Get Yourself Tested (GYT). This should be done with every new partner, if the condom breaks, and if you are having unprotected sexual intercourse. HIV testing is done by testing your blood and is not done during a typical Pap or STI test, so you may need to ask your doctor about it specifically.
HIV/AIDs Additional Resources
(Fiction, Documentaries, Activism)
Some of the following resources are rated PG-13 or higher. Make sure you talk to your parents and obtain permission before you watch or read them. You may want to watch them with your parents or caregivers so you can open the lines of communication about HIV/AIDs, and the responsibilities and consequences of being sexually active.