Five things every young person should know about HIV and AIDS:
- Close to 4 million young people are living with HIV globally. (UNAIDS)
- What makes young people more vulnerable to HIV infection?
- Only 31.5% young people have correct knowledge about HIV transmission
- Unprotected sex is the most common cause of HIV infection among young people, followed by sharing of infected needles.Young girls and women are particularly at risk.
- Young people tend to experiment with sexual and drug-related behaviours, increasing their risk to HIV infection.
- Young people and adolescents are generally unaware of their HIV status.
- Young persons of today may have been born with HIV. In 2013, an estimated 240,000 children were infected with HIV from their mother during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding.
- How can young people prevent HIV?
- Using Condoms – Use a latex male or female condom in every sexual act. Condoms also protect from sexually transmitted infections. It is important to use condoms correctly and consistently.
- Abstaining from sex and/or avoiding multi-partner sex.
- Not sharing needles or syringes. Staying away from drugs.
- Seeking correct knowledge about HIV & AIDS.
- Taking an HIV test. Knowing your HIV status early helps.
- Committing to ending HIV related stigma and discrimination.
Watch: Never Abandon, Never Give up! https://www.youtube.com/v/-MlP2OBasfQ
- Being an AIDS Ambassador like Pablo T. Aguilera https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_XBj98F2Bg
- Why should young people in Ghana be concerned?
- Condom use among young men 15-24 years with two or more sexual partners decreased from 42% in 2008 to 34.2% in 2014.
- HIV testing is low among young persons. Only one in ten young person has ever taken an HIV test.
- Young women are more at risk. In general, to every male there are 3 females living with HIV in Africa.
- Transactional and inter-generational sex exposes many women especially young women and adolescent girls to HIV infection.
Watch Evelyn’s story in Ghana on youtube:
- What should young people do?
- Know about HIV and AIDS and spread the word.
- Take an HIV test and know your status.
- If HIV positive, you can access treatment, and live a healthy and productive life.
- Remember! People living with HIV have rights… to get treatment, to employment …to a dignified life.