HIV/AIDS Prevention with Adolescents

Geetha Gopalan, Candice Baugh and Mary McKay

in Social Work

ISBN: 9780195389678
Published online August 2012 | | DOI:
HIV/AIDS Prevention with Adolescents

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Adolescence is marked by the onset of physical and emotional maturation, which is accompanied by the challenges of adapting to social, emotional, and cognitive changes. Adolescence covers a large age range, beginning as young as nine or ten and lasting to eighteen years or older. Throughout this period, youth are moving between the worlds of childhood and adulthood, experiencing multiple new and stressful challenges. As children move through adolescence, they have basic developmental and psychosocial needs, including receiving family support, participating in caring relationships, acquiring skills to cope adaptively with everyday life, and believing in a future with real opportunities. As a social determinant of health, environmental conditions have a large impact on HIV risk for youth. Urban minority youth, in particular, grow up in disadvantaged neighborhoods with acute environmental risk factors, including racism, poverty, substance abuse, exposure to high levels of community violence, deteriorating youth-supportive resources, and a serious shortage of health services. Youth entering adolescence under adverse circumstances are often ill prepared to cope effectively with normative developmental challenges, marking this period as high risk for school dropout, early and risky sexual behavior, pregnancy, drug abuse, and suicide. In the early 21st century nearly twelve million young people are living with HIV/AIDS. Such statistics underscore the urgent need to address HIV/AIDS infection among youth. Increasing rates of infection among teens have been explained by adolescents having more-limited life experience and not having the social and cognitive skills to negotiate situations of sexual risk. Understanding and changing adolescent health protective skills and sexual behaviors are key to reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS in this age group. Consequently, this bibliography serves as a guide in the planning of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted disease (STD) primary prevention programs focused on adolescents across a variety of circumstances and settings. Although this bibliography focuses primarily on studies in the United States, we also present an overview of international trends in HIV/AIDS and STD primary prevention.

Article.  11912 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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