Tag Archives: Young People

Generation HIV: the young Britons born HIV positive

Today is National Youth HIV AIDS Awareness Day (#NYHAAD)

National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day is a day to educate the public about the impact of HIV and AIDS on young people as well as highlight the amazing work young people are doing across the country to fight the HIV & AIDS epidemic.

Take a look at this video which tells the story of a group of young people.  They were born in the 90s, when mother-to-child transmission couldn’t be prevented, but HIV positive babies could survive. No other generation will ever live with HIV in the same way.

They tell Jenny Kleeman, a documentary film-maker and journalist who is best known for her work on Channel 4’s foreign affairs series Unreported World that their greatest threat is not HIV – but stigma.

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Many of our youth have distressing sexual problems.


At least one in 10 of UK 16 to 21 year-olds questioned in a survey admits to having a “distressing sexual problem” in the past year.  A lack of education around “issues of sexual satisfaction” is one of the causes, according to researchers.

They analysed data from 1,875 sexually active and 517 sexually inactive people aged 16 to 21.  Climaxing, erectile dysfunction and lack of interest in sex are some of the main issues.

The findings have been published in the Journal of Adolescent Health and the analysis is described as the “largest scientific study” of sexual health lifestyles in Britain.

It concluded that around one in 10 men and one in eight women aged 16 to 21 in Britain who are sexually active have experienced a “distressing” sexual problem lasting at least three months in the past year.

Among women, the most common problem reported was difficulty reaching a climax. Among men the most common were reaching a climax too quickly and difficulty getting and keeping an erection.

Researchers say that failing to address problems in early adulthood could potentially affect sexual happiness and relationships in the future.

Doctor Kirstin Mitchell from the University of Glasgow is the lead author of the report and says sexual difficulties can impact on young people’s sexual wellbeing in the longer term.

“When it comes to young people’s sexuality, professional concern is usually focused on preventing sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancy,” she says.  “However, we should be considering sexual health much more broadly.”

The report found more than a third of people who reported one or more sexual problems had sought help about their sex life, but rarely from a professional. They asked for help from family and friends or searched for advice on the internet.

Study co-author Professor Kaye Wellings, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, wants sex education in schools to change.  “UK sex education is often silent on issues of sexual satisfaction, but these are clearly important to young people and should be addressed.

“Sex education could do much more to debunk myths about sex, discuss pleasure and promote gender equality in relationships.”

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Anyone fancy a game of ‘Sex Roulette’?


A dangerous new trend, in which teenagers have unprotected orgies with people who are HIV Positive, is reportedly on the rise in Barcelona.

According to several reports in the Spanish media, the high-risk activity – more commonly known as ‘sex roulette’ – has been growing in popularity across the Catalan capital. Much like Russian roulette, the sex parties are aimed at people who want to add an element of danger to their carnal connections, by inviting (at least) one ‘secret’ HIV positive person to the group.

The trend, which is apparently practised by people of all sexualities, echoes the equally contentious ‘bugchasing’ movement; where gay men actively pursue the virus for sexual pleasure.

According to Barcelona’s Hospital Clinic – which is currently treating around 100 positive people a day – the rise of ‘sex roulette’ has also been linked to a spate of other sexually transmitted infections including hepatitis C, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. It has also been connected to the notable decline in the amount of young people who are concerned with catching HIV (stats reveal that 24 per cent of 15-25-year-olds are “not afraid” of the virus).

“Going to sex roulette parties is about the risk, partygoers think the higher the risk, the stronger the thrill” – Kate Morley

But why, despite all the obvious dangers, is this disturbing trend so appealing? “Going to sex roulette parties is about the risk, partygoers think the higher the risk, the stronger the thrill,” says psychosexual therapist Kate Moyle. “In the case of sex parties the intense high is as you combine orgasm with high adrenaline. However the high is short term and the long term consequences are dangerous as not only is there the risk of contracting HIV, but other harmful sexually transmitted infections.”

It’s not the first time the media has reported on the ‘sex roulette’ trend, either. Back in 2014, Lavanguardia newspaper raised concerns about the number of straight teenagers indulging in these kinds of “high-risk” orgies; adding that they believed the craze had come “from Colombia”.

“We’ve become victims of our own success when it comes to treatment,” explains AVERT’s news officer, Caitlin Maron. “HIV treatment is much more accessible and effective in this era, and people living with HIV are living healthier lives and into old age. As such, many people may feel that becoming infected with HIV isn’t such a ‘big deal’.”

“Whilst the outlook for people living with HIV is certainly positive, it is still a life-long chronic condition, with treatment needing to be taken every day,” she adds. “Living with HIV can still be a significant challenge for many.”

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Education for awareness of and attitudes to HIV

Positive? (www.learningpositive.com) is a HIV information service website and the end work of the commitment and hard work of many UK Stakeholders, Partners and key players who in many different ways gave of their time, skills and expertise to help put together this innovative teaching and learning resource.

This highly accessible teaching and learning tool will challenge you, engage you, and empower you. By working through the different sections of the website, on your own, with friends or under the direction of your teacher, you will deepen your understanding of the facts about HIV whilst increasing your awareness of its social impact.

The interactive website is a tool to teach young people about HIV, how it affects people in the UK, how to prevent it spreading and how to reduce the discrimination experienced by those living with HIV. It also provides insights into the global dimension of the epidemic and introduces a series of interactive activities to raise awareness among the new generation and encourage positive, campaigning action to be taken.

As well as learning about HIV for yourself, you will also use your knowledge and understanding to develop an original campaign to advocate for people with HIV. As you work through the various activities, remember to think about which information would work well in raising awareness about key issues related to HIV.

The site helps to educate issues such as prejudice and stigma, discrimination, criminalisation and human rights and many more.  Check it out, it’s very useful for yourself and to pass to others.

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Vote for Pozitude! The Website by Children Living With HIV

There are lots of websites out there which can give you help, advice and knowledge about HIV, and Pozitude stands out from the crowd.. read on to hear all about it and what YOU can do help them win an award for harnessing technology to bring about positive social change.

Pozitude is a website set up by a group of children who are living with HIV and they offer more than a simple website.  They offer a special place where the clock stops and you can navigate your way without running out of time.  Young people and parents alike can use this space as a good place to find out about HIV and what it’s like to live with HIV.

Some people still don’t have access to clear, easy to understand information about HIV so Pozitude decided to put together all sorts of information.

Sponsored by The Big Lottery, they asked for help from doctors, nurses, and other people who know about HIV and they hope that you will suggest anything that you might think would help a young person finding out they are HIV positive.

Visit whenever you like, learn about the facts, the fantasies, the realities and the myths about living with HIV. Ask questions and share ideas, come and find friends, but most important keep a positive attitude about your journey ahead.

Michelle Overton is a project manager at Pozitude, and she’s been nominated for Talk Talk’s Digital Heroes Award.  Babita Wakelin, who nominated Michelle  said, “Michelle is inspirational, but the kids using Pozitude are also truly Digital Heroes!” Pozitude says that the grant would enable it to update its websites and digital offerings as well as to develop a Facebook application that will help reduce the stigma associated with HIV.

Pozitude would also like to develop a smartphone application that will help young people who have moved away from home remember to take their medication at their set times.

The TalkTalk Digital Heroes Awards is an awards and funding scheme with a difference: it is the UK’s only scheme which recognises people who harness digital technology to bring about positive social change in their communities.

The TalkTalk Digital Heroes Awards, with Citizens Online and in association with The Mirror – and supported by Race Online 2012 – offers people a chance to win funding for a new or existing digital project.

If Pozitude wins the Digital Heroes competition, they can win a prize of £5,000 and if they win the East Midlands regional contest, they will be entered into a national final and could win £10,000 so what are you waiting for?

They answer questions such as “Is HIV The Same As AIDS“? “Who to Tell“? along with practical information like healthy eating (with recipes) and issues such as employment and faith.

They even have a section for parents and professionals which offer help and support for talking to children about HIV and the impacts it can have on life.

Leicestershire AIDS Support Services are voting for them, and we hope you do too! So visit Talk Talk’s Digital Hereo’s website and vote for Michelle Overton

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HIV Education Fails To Reach A Quarter Of Young People

A quarter of young people are not learning about HIV and AIDS, the Sex Education Forum has found.

A survey of 800 young people carried out by the forum, part of the National Children’s Bureau, also found that nearly half of the respondents felt they had not learned all they needed about the infection.

The House of Lords HIV and AIDS in the UK select committee is currently undertaking an inquiry into the adequacy of public education about HIV and AIDS. Giving evidence at the inquiry last week, schools minister Nick Gibb said it was “unforgivable” that children are not taught about the condition.

Learning about HIV and AIDS and other sexually transmitted disease is compulsory for all maintained secondary schools.

Jane Lees, chair of the Sex Education Forum, said: “We urge schools to build learning about HIV and AIDS into a planned programme of sex and relationships education with regular lessons taught by trained teachers. Families also have a huge role to play. Through talking about HIV and AIDS more openly we can lift the taboo and ensure that every child and young person receives their entitlement to vital information.”

For some young people questioned, education about HIV and AIDS had been limited to a one-off event such as a half hour lesson in the final year of secondary school or an assembly to mark World AIDS Day. Young people said they wanted to see more time allocated on a regular basis to the subject and a wide range of sex and relationships education topics.

Almost three-quarters (73 per cent) of young people said they had talked about HIV and AIDS with friends and a third had discussed the subject with a parent or carer.

One young respondent said: “Just because we are afraid of the way AIDS can affect our lives doesn’t mean we need to hide it under the rug. Speaking about it will keep knowledge up. And with that knowledge comes the power to help ourselves.”

Source: http://www.cypnow.co.uk/Education/article/1073066/HIV-education-fails-reach-quarter-young-people/

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