As teenage pregnancy rates reach record proportions, the cases of AIDS are continuing to rise in the United Kingdom as young people continue to engage in sexual activity without taking any precautions, in an attitude of “it could never happen to me”. Young people all over Europe seem to have the mistaken idea that by avoiding the issue of protected or unprotected sexual relations by adopting oral sexual practices is safe, but they could not be more wrong. Any lesions in the mouth can cause infection by AIDS if the partner is HIV positive. As young people these days initiate their sexual life earlier and earlier, the message that protected sexual intercourse is the safest way to avoid AIDS does not seem to be working. As the press in the UK gives importance to the AIDS rate in Russia, the situation here is of paramount concern. The figure in 2000 is the highest ever, which means that despite various government campaigns to limit the spread of this disease, the number of AIDS cases continues to grow. As is the case in the rest of Europe, the disease has broken out of the three traditional groups at risk – the intravenous drugs users, bisexuals and homosexuals – and is now more and more present among heterosexuals, although the first three groups show a higher prevalence. Despite the importance dedicated to AIDS in the world’s media in the last two decades, the attitude among many young people continues to be as blasй as that regarding the harmful effects of smoking cigarettes. “It could never happen to me”. The fact is, crudely, that anyone who has unprotected sexual relations with a partner infected with HIV, whose viral load is active, and whose immune system is receptive at the time, has a great chance of contracting the virus (Human Immuno-Deficiency Virus HIV) which has a possibility of degenerating into Acquired Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). While it is true that a man can have an unprotected sexual relationship with an intravenous drugs user, who has AIDS, and does not necessarily contract the disease, the possibility of a woman contracting the disease from a man is three times higher. In the UK, more and more girls are being bullied into having unprotected sex by their boyfriends, who threaten to leave them if they insist on using a condom. The United Kingdom government now promotes the message that a girl has to decide what she wants to do. If a boyfriend threatens her in this way, he is not worth anything. Girls must insist on protected sex and boys must recognise that AIDS is not a distant disease that affects foreigners, but a very real and very serious health threat. As television and the cinema teaches the youngsters of today that sexual activity is normal at ever-decreasing ages, the role models are there for young people to follow. Maybe it is the television and cinema which should assume a greater responsibility in sexual education programmes.


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Author`s name Editorial Team