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Aids & College Students

Why is it that some people never give a second thought to diseases like cancer or aids until it hits home?

Aids came up on my radar this morning when my daughter called from college to tell me some shocking news. Apparently there is information circulating on her campus that two-thirds of the students who tested for aids/HIV recently found out they were positive.

Granted, the number of students tested was low—a little over 100—in comparison to the student enrollment of more than 11,000---but what raises a more serious question for me, as a parent, is why does aids still seem out of control---especially for young African-Americans? Where is the education? Why have we failed in stressing the point about the fatal results of aids?

I did some research and found these startling facts. North Carolina, the state where my daughter goes to school, ranks in the Top Ten of NEW aids/HIV cases.

As of 2006, these were the reported numbers of new aids cases:

Ages 15-19, 5626
Ages 20-24, 36,225
Ages 25-29, 117,099
Ages 30-34, 197,530
Ages 35-39 213,573

When I mentioned this news on Twitter, one of my followers suggested I remove my daughter from the school. I have a better idea. Make it mandatory for EVERY prospective student take an Aids/HIV test before being allowed to be admitted.

What do you think needs to be done to stop this ever-increasing epidemic?

Comments

Mitch said…
First, I guess I'd be suspect about the information, because there's no way something like that wouldn't make the news. Not saying it may not be true, but that would be shocking.

Second, I'm someone who's against a lot of mandatory testing in general, and therefore I'd be against this one. If any of those kids were in a medical program, or someplace where there might be an exchange of bodily fluids while in class, definitely. Otherwise, though I know what you're thinking, folks just have to learn to be more careful about their bodies and interpersonal reactions.
Beverly said…
Mitch,

I have to admit I was surprised at the information when she told me. I wondered how such information could get out. Certainly, no student affected would put their business on BLAST, ya think?

Nevertheless, it should be a wake up call that AIDS is not to be taken lightly and as my mama used to say, "If you keep your panties up and your dress down, you won't have to worry!"
Betty Lynch said…
This is shocking news! I have no words of wisdom other than teaching and re-teaching the Bible and waiting until marriage.
Leslie Thomas Flowers said…
Smart to test all students before entering college. A large percentage likely don't even know they have the disease. This way they can careful around transmission. They should be anyway, but this would increase the likelihood.

Diminish the epidemic requires creation of new self images for almost everyone. Peer pressure to be lax morally and sexually is powerful (per Abraham Maslow) because it is about 'fitting in' with the crowd.

This is not hard to do, but most of us aren't even aware that we can actually create a new self image. A new self image would not be swayed by peer pressure to fit in.
Eileen Williams said…
That is truly upsetting information. One would think, by now, that they could get a better handle on prevention. Boomers and older folks are also one of the fastest growing populations to be hit by this dreaded disease. What a horrible turn of events.
Beverly Mahone said…
Eileen,

A report I read recently indicated that the number of sexually transmitted diseases of people over the age of 45 has DOUBLED in the last decade! Not a good statistic--since another reports indicates more and more single boomers are back on the dating scene in record numbers.

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