UN initiative hopes to teach young adults about AIDS

According to The St. Augustine Record, in Johannesburg, South Africa, AIDS counselor Patience Ncusani has one message during her teen sex education classes – be careful. In Africa more than any other place in the world, AIDS can be a deadly consequence of having unprotected sex.

Around the world, 2,500 young adults are infected with AIDS each day. In 2009, 41 percent of new patients with HIV infections were age 15 to 24. The problem is that many families don't want to discuss the issues, so people are left dangerously ignorant about how to best protect themselves.

"We're dealing here with sex, with blood and with procreation," Elhadj As Sy, the UN director of children's programs in eastern and southern Africa, told the publication. "You take these three to any African country, and you have a very explosive cocktail."

Ncusani has experienced similar sentiments. Some students have sat down in her class, only to leave when she began her lecture.

This explosive reaction is compounded by a severe lack of information throughout the continent. Most officials agree that sex and intravenous drug use are the two primary causes of AIDS infections.

One of the best ways that sexually active individuals can protect themselves from AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections is to wear a condom every time they have sex. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that a condom can save a life, because it is one of the most effective methods of STD prevention.

Currently, there is no known cure for AIDs. It is spread through sexual intercourse, blood contamination and from mother to child. Individuals cannot contract the condition from kissing, touching or using public facilities.

Avert.org estimates that more than one million Americans are are living with HIV in America.  

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