When the AIDS epidemic first hit the United States in the very early 1980’s, people did not know what exactly it was which was killing the people in this country.
An individual would report to his doctor’s office feeling sick and the doctor was unable to treat that person.He slowly died and the medical community was none the wiser as to what killed that person. This continued for a couple of years until the medical community was able to pinpoint the disease as HIV which will eventually result in that person contracting the AIDS virus.At first, heterosexual people had a false sense of security because it was seen as only a disease for homosexuals and that heterosexuals, regardless of the level of risky behavior which they participated in, would be forever helped protective from acquiring the disease.The homosexual population had been on the fringe of society for some time and their own person conduct and moral choices were seen as a proper punishment.
As a result of this belief, millions of the sexually active in this country did not protect themselves.The only thing which a person was afraid of contracting was an STD or pregnancy and there were many ways in which a person could protect themselves in that manner.However, at that time, straight couples were becoming infected despite taking all of the precautions which were believed to be the common ways in which one protects themselves. What was not known that efforts made in the prevention of getting the woman pregnant; a condom or birth control, did nothing to protect both people from contaminating their bodies with the disease.
As a result, millions of people in America as well as around the world, spread this deadly disease to their loved ones as well as people that they didn’t even knew. As a result, millions of people in America and to a greater extent, the rest of the world, became infected with the HIV virus out of ignorance since people did little to protect themselves.Teenagers by nature are seen to take more risks that their older peers. Car insurance for teenagers is much higher than for the rest of the general public and a teenager will sometimes find it difficult to open up a checking account or to get a loan from a bank for a specific purchase. This is because the traditional behavior of teenagers makes the banks and car insurance cautious that their lack of responsibility.
There are much more consequences, many times with deadly results, when individuals risk their lives when they conduct themselves in such risky behavior as unprotected sex. In the more than twenty five years since the AIDS epidemic hit the United States, teenagers are still having sex without protection.“The fact that teenagers are having sex at all should alarm and frighten every parent as well as every concerned citizen in this country. Teenagers who have sex are still at risk of contracting a different STD as well as the dangers of getting pregnant and being forced with the decision of whether to abortion the baby or to have a child which the mother cannot support.However, this does not excuse the parent from educating their children as to the dangers of not protecting oneself.” These are serious problems with much more serious consequences.
However, as dire as the consequences are for a teenage girl; usually void of the help of her boyfriend and a tired and middle aged parent in the caring for that child is, the lack of education which breeds ignorance is simply killing millions of people around the world.The saddest of this is the fact that teenagers, right at the brink of their social and professional careers, are being snuffed out prematurely because they either have not been told that sexual intercourse can lead to such dire consequences or that they were never taught to listen to such advice and that a world in which the individual does as he or she pleases is the only thing that they have known.These people will forever be scarred with the choices that they made. What is worst, is the fact that such consequences cannot be made right through regret or science. Currently, those who contract the HIV virus will eventually die of AIDS. This is even more true in the poorer countries in Africa where the AIDS virus is hitting the people even harder.
After twenty five years of sex education and health classes in schools, teenagers across the nation’s schools are starting to get the message that AIDS is as much their problem as it is for any other segment of the population.AIDS is no longer a homosexual disease but is one that can affect, and often times does affect, people who are straight and who conduct themselves in such a way which would make the suspect able to the disease.After the notion that AIDS was only a disease for homosexuals was proven to be incorrect, the next belief was that the disease was only contracted by drug addicts. It is true, especially “in the 1980’s when the United States was badly losing the war on drugs as drug use in America rose exponentially and new and harder drugs were introduced to the nation’s biggest cities and smallest towns.”However, the tragic story of Ryan White, a teenage boy who contracted the disease from a botched blood transfusion showed the public that AIDS did not have only one type of name or face to it but was a disease which all Americans found themselves at risk for contracting.During this time, the health classes all around the country, sometimes to the dismay of parents, taught to teach a more graphic and no nonsense approach to sex education and the dangers which sex all too often brings.
However, it would be another twenty years before any positive effects could be seen in our nation’s young people.