Information for Teenagers and Young Adults
As young adults, you tend to be pressed to make decisions to be more popular or fit among your friends. Becoming sexually active is one of them. You are the most precious gift you can give someone you care about, so think it over before actually making such an important decision.
Studies show that the risk of getting sexually transmitted diseases including HIV and AIDS increase the younger you are when you have sexual contact the first time. Also, the more sexual partners you have also increases the risk. Teenagers are a high-risk group for being infected with HIV or AIDS. For example, two young people (ages 13-25) are infected with HIV each hour.
Delaying sex until you are ready is a better choice. The only sure way to prevent infection of sexually transmitted diseases including HIV and AIDS is by avoiding having sexual contact altogether. Also, once you are ready and make that choice, make sure to be in a significant mutually monogamous relationship. That is, that both you and your partner care about each other and will only be having sexual contact with each other. Talking about these issues, about previous experiences, and being tested should be discussed beforehand.
When you make this important decision, make sure you are not under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Using alcohol or drugs affects your judgement and decision making skills. You want to have a clear head when making this important decision.
Also, if you do decide to have sexual contact (oral, vaginal, and/or anal), always wear a latex condom or another type of barrier (e.g., female condom). Remember, HIV/AIDS is transmitted by contact with blood or other bodily fluid of an infected person.
So, if you might also be exposed to the use of needles that might have been used by others (IV drugs, steroids, piercing, tattooing), avoid doing this. HIV and AIDS can easily be transmitted or passed.
Follow the links in the navigation toolbar for more information on HIV and AIDS. When you are done, take the interactive quiz to test your knowledge about HIV and AIDS.