ALEX – HIV EDUCATION ADVOCATE

The campaign for better HIV education with teenagers and young people has stepped up this week in the follow-up of Luke’s living with HIV story.

A recent study by the MAC AIDS fund surveyed 1000 young people between May and June this year showed alarmingly that one third of them believe they cannot contract HIV via unprotected sex.

The survey also highlighted the lack of understanding of the risks of having unprotected sex. Alarmingly, 90% believed that they would never contract HIV or be at risk of contracting HIV in their lifetime.

Alex-HIV

The lack of education regarding HIV and unprotected sex was also one of the factors highlighted in the study with 42% saying they have never been spoken to about HIV before.

Like ourselves, the MAC AIDS fund charity and also many other HIV services are championing better education on HIV, education on how the virus is contracted and also general sexual health knowledge and awareness in young people.

Analysis of public health figures shows in the 10 years up to 2012 the number of newly diagnosed gay men between 15 and 24 has more than doubled. This clearly shows the need for better HIV awareness education and knowledge.

In helping to campaign for better HIV awareness with young people, Alex Sparrowhawk has shared his newly diagnosed story with the world. Alex was diagnosed in November 2009 and is open with his HIV status so that he can campaign, advocate and become a voice for better HIV awareness and rights. Alex found out that he was HIV positive at the age of 24 after having unprotected sex. Alex, is smart, educated, regularly STI tested and was aware of HIV. He only slept with similar likeminded men. Unfortunately Alex made a mistake by having unprotected sex. Alex slept with a partner who was unaware of his own HIV status and subsequently Alex found that he contracted the virus by having unprotected sex. Perhaps if Alex had known that between 20% and 25% of people living with HIV were doing so unaware they actually have the virus, Alex might have made an alternative decision. Better HIV education with all the facts and figures might help others change their decision on having unprotected sex.

To read Alex’s story and how he champions for better HIV awareness please click here

Living Well is committed to improve the lives of those who are newly diagnosed and living with HIV. Living Well also provide leading young people sexual health education programs and sexual health helplines to improve young people’s access to sexual health education, sex and relationship advice. To find out how you can help Living Well or gain access to their HIV and young people services please call 020 31 373 373 or email info@livingwellcic.com

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