Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Pencils, Notebooks and Condoms

According to a recent report by NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday, on October 7, 2007, “Today’s generation of college students has lived with HIV all their lives. For that reason, it may be understandable that it’s not at the top of the list of things they worry about.”

This should raise two questions. One, why does a generation that has lived with the disease for its entire time on earth account for half of all new HIV infections in the United States? And two, why are mainstream media outlets not doing more to raise awareness for this generation which is increasingly more dependent on the content they provide?

In a survey done by the American College Health Association, the infection rate for HIV in the 12 months prior to the survey, in colleges was roughly equal to the rate of infection of the general U.S. population. Students exposed to a wealth of information about HIV/AIDS, that kind of willful ignorance is even more unacceptable.

Colleges and Universities located in high risk areas such as Washington D.C. –an area with an infection rate higher than many African countries, one person for every 20 – require immediate action beyond the basket of free condoms left out in the campus nurses office.

Cable Positive has been a long time supporter and a partner of organizations who target young people in their HIV/AIDS awareness efforts such as the Black AIDS Institute, which recently sent 25 African American students to Washington D.C. to train as HIV/AIDS advocates. We’ve conducted comprehensive HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention campaigns across the country not only with the Black AIDS Institute, but with the Latino Commission on AIDS and the Asian/Pacific Islander Wellness Project.

Right now Cable Positive is continuing our role as partner in order to further the work of organizations like Living Beyond Belief and Hopes Voice, two organizations that specifically target the younger generation in their HIV/AIDS awareness efforts.

Together, we all know there’s a lot more work for us to tackle.

No comments: