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2005-09-15-Increased HIV/AIDS Education Services Needed To Help Combat Stigma, Lack of Awareness
While the "perception remains" that an HIV-positive person "must be gay or an addict or promiscuous," there is also a "complacency" about HIV/AIDS "creeping into young people's minds," Diane Hardy -- an educator for the... Milwaukee Public Schools and a volunteer at the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin -- writes in a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel opinion piece.
Some people in Wisconsin "still think people with HIV/AIDS somehow deserve their fate," while "sympathy is extended to those who suffer from other diseases" that also have a "direct correlation" to behavior, Hardy says.
In addition, many young people are unaware that oral sex can spread HIV and "do not value their bodies enough to wait to have sex," which makes it "frighten[ing]" that some people oppose teaching them sexual practices that can protect against HIV transmission, she says.
Government officials "must pay attention to direct education services ... to stop the spread" of HIV, Hardy writes, adding that others can help by volunteering and donating to AIDS service organizations (Hardy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 9/11).