More than 1 million people are living with HIV in this country. Thousands of U.S. teens and young adults get infected with HIV each year. Yet more than half of young people who are infected don’t know they are.
HIV can be a tough subject to discuss with your kids, but it’s something you need to do — and early. Education about HIV and how it is spread is an essential part of prevention. By the time your kid enters puberty, they should know the facts about HIV so they don’t engage in behavior that puts them at risk.
Here are 7 need-to-know facts about HIV to share with your kids:
HIV is not spread through air, water, sweat, tears, saliva, urine or feces. It is not transmitted by casual contact, such as hugging, holding or shaking hands, casual kissing, dancing, sharing food/drinks, or sharing exercise equipment, toilets, or a swimming pool.
Hopefully one day, a cure for HIV infection will be found and AIDS will no longer exist. Until then, teach your children the facts so they don’t put themselves at risk.
Have you talked to your kids about HIV? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Learn more about HIV/AIDS.
Learn more about children’s services at Edward-Elmhurst Health.
Julie Miaczynski, MD is a family medicine physician with Edward Medical Group.
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