Make your own free website on Tripod.com
ACWN
Symbol of HIV and AIDS Awareness
Frequently Ask Questions
?

Why Talk about AIDS and Sex?

Answer:

Children and teenagers need to know about AIDS:

  1.   To reduce their fears about the disease.
  2.   To satisfy their natural curiosity.
  3.   To reassure children who may know friends or family who have been affected by AIDS or HIV infection.
  4.   To help delay the beginning of sexual activity.
  5.   To encourage the use of condoms and safer sex practices if children are already sexually active.
  6.   To understand and eliminate the risks associated with drugs that require needles for injection.
  7.   To teach them to have a healthy attitude about sexuality and love.


Press the BACK button on your browser to return to FAQ's Main Page.










ACWN
Symbol of HIV and AIDS Awareness
Frequently Ask Questions
?

What should they know?

Answer:

Pre-School (3-4 years)

Children at this age are learning about their bodies and the world through play. They can learn simple healthy routines such as bathing, brushing their teeth, and eating good food. A parent can let the child know that sex is one of the things that can be talked about in their home.

Young Children (5-8 years)

Young children are interested in birth, marriage and death. They have probably heard about AIDS on TV, and they may have questions or fears. They need to know that they shouldn't worry about getting AIDS and that people do not get HIV from being bad. They can understand basic ideas from simple examples such as getting germs into a cut.

Pre-Teens (9-12 years)

The pre-teen years are when the changes of puberty begin. Pre-teens are concerned about their bodies, their looks and what is normal. Some may start dating, have early sexual experiences or try drugs. Parents need to talk to them about sexuality, AIDS and drugs. Their natural curiosity about sexuality needs to be addressed through accurate information, using the correct words for the different parts of the body. They need to know what is meant by sexual intercourse, how HIV is spread, how to avoid risky hehaviors and why taking drugs is dangerous.



Teens (13-19 years)

This can be a time of confusion or conflict. Teenagers need to know that the best way to prevent HIV is to avoid sexual intercourse or using drugs. Parents should share their values about premarital sexual intercourse. We should recognize that, although we want them to, many will not wait. They need to know about condoms, birth control, and alternative forms of sexual behavior such as kissing, holding hands, masturbation, and sexual activity that does not include sexual intercourse. Teens need to know how drugs and alcohol affect their judgement. They also need to know about the high risk of sharing needles through injection drug use, steroids, ear piercing and tattooing. Young people often have a homosexual experimentation phase and, therefore, may be worried about AIDS.

Press the BACK button on your browser to return to FAQ's Main Page.










ACWN
Symbol of HIV and AIDS Awareness
Frequently Ask Questions
?

How do I talk to children about it?

Answer:

Talking with our children is not always easy, particulary when they become teenagers.

Teenagers worry about acne, weight problems, menstruation, late or early physical development, sex, school pressures, boredom, parental hassles, friendships and money problems.

Parents find it hard to keep up with teenage mood swings and normal challenges to authority as teens bounce back and forth between childhood and adulthood.

But, despite the difficulties, parents and their teenaged children do find ways to talk to each other. Be patient with yourself and your children.

Tips About Talking
Some Suggestions:

  •   Try to listen calmly, even when there may be a difference of opinion.
  •   Ask for opinion, not for personal disclosure.
  •   Be willing to "back off" and agree to discuss the topic again later.
  •   Use a lot of "little talks" rather than one "big talk".
  •   You, the parent, should take the initiative.


Press the BACK button on your browser to return to FAQ's Main Page.










ACWN
Symbol of HIV and AIDS Awareness
Frequently Ask Questions
?

What about if someone is uncomfortable talking about it?

Answer:

It is normal to be uncomfortable talking about the difficult issues associated with AIDS and sex. There is a lot of complex information to be learned about AIDS. We also have to examine our own feelings about safe sex, drug use, homosexuality and dealing with illness and death. Discussions about sex may lead to questions about topics such as masturbation, birth control, and our own sexual behaviors. But, as we talk about these things we gradually forget about being uncomfortable. The information becomes easier to understand. By talking about our feelings, we help our children express their feelings. Difficult subjects become easier to handle.

Tips About Talking
Some Suggestions:

  •   Don't be afraid to say that you feel embarrassed. Often just saying so will make you and your child more  comfortable.
  •   Answer questions when they come up - there may not be another time.
  •   Don't try to cover all of the issues as one time.
  •   Talk it over with your spouse/partner or friends before talking with your child.
  •   Respect each other's privacy. Make it clear that you want to discuss information and opinions - not their or  your personal experiences.


Press the BACK button on your browser to return to FAQ's Main Page.










ACWN
Symbol of HIV and AIDS Awareness
Frequently Ask Questions
?

Does talking about sex lead to having sex?

Answer:

Some people worry that discussing sex with their children will encourage their children to become sexually active.

Research shows that children who are well informed and confortable in talking about sexuality are least likely to have sexual intercourse when they are adolescents.

Tips About Talking
Some Suggestions:

  •   Talk often with your child about sensitive issues.
  •   Encourage your school to offer a sexuality education program.
  •   Encourage your place of worship to offer youth programs on sexuality.


Press the BACK button on your browser to return to FAQ's Main Page.










ACWN
Symbol of HIV and AIDS Awareness
Frequently Ask Questions
?

How to get knowledge about the subject?

Answer:

AIDS is a difficult topic. You may not have all the information, or your child may ask questions to which there may be several answers or even no answers.

But there are lots of places and people to provide the information you need:

  •   Health and Community Services Western (709) 637-5678
  •   Public Health (709) 632-2522
  •   NLAC - (NFLD & LAB AIDS Committee) 1-800-563-1575
  •   ACWN - (AIDS Committee of Western Newfoundland, Inc.) Email


Tips About Talking
Some Suggestions:

  •   You don't need to know all the answers. Say that you need to look it up.
  •   Take a "time-out". Say, "That's a good question. I need to think about my answer for a while."
  •   You can make mistakes. Say, "I thought about my answer to your qeustion yesterday and want to change something."


Press the BACK button on your browser to return to FAQ's Main Page.










ACWN
Symbol of HIV and AIDS Awareness
Frequently Ask Questions
?

What about family values?

Answer:

Parents and children sometimes feel pressured by the actions or beliefs of other people which are different from their own.

The key is to help your child recognize that other people may have different beliefs, customs and views, but to explain openly that you want them to act in a certain way.

Tips About Talking
Some Suggestions:

  •   Be clear and honest about your beliefs and values.
  •   Make sure your behavior is consistent with your values.
  •   Point out positive behaviors as well as those which are negative or exploitive.
  •   Make sure your child understands what is acceptable to you.
  •   Recognize that other people's standards may be different from yours.


Press the BACK button on your browser to return to FAQ's Main Page.















ACWN
Symbol of HIV and AIDS Awareness
Frequently Ask Questions
?

What does a "Reactive" or "Non-Reactive" Antibody Test result mean?

Answer:

The most important thing to remember is that the AIDS virus Antibody Test is NOT a test for AIDS or AIDS-related conditions. It is not used to diagnose AIDS. It tests for the antibody produced in response to infection with the virus that causes AIDS.

If someone has the antibody in his/her blood s/he has a 20-35% chance of becoming ill with AIDS within the next 5-7 years.

A "Reactive" test means one of the following:

  1.   You are infected with the AIDS virus (and can probably pass the virus on to others);
    OR
  2.   You were exposed to the virus in the past but are no longer infected (this is unlikely);
    OR
  3.   You have a 'false positive' test due to cross-reacting substances in your blood. This is a rare occurrence.

    A "Non-Reactive" test means one of the following:

    1.   You are not infected with the AIDS virus;
      OR
    2.   You are infected but your body has not yet had time to produce enough antibody to make this test reactive. (Remember, it takes 2-6 months to form enough antibody to make this test reactive. You may need to be re-tested in a few months);
      OR
    3.   You are infected but incapable of forming antibody. This is rare.


    Press the BACK button on your browser to return to FAQ's Main Page.












    ACWN
    Symbol of HIV and AIDS Awareness
    Frequently Ask Questions
    ?

    What can I do to stop this epidemic?

    Answer:

    If you are involved in at-risk activities, regardless of the antibody test and its result, please take precautions to prevent the spread of this infection.

    1.   Abstain from sex or practise safer sex:
      •     Abstain from anal sex.
      •     Use a condom properly for oral or vaginal sex.
      •     Avoid casual or anonymous sex.

    2.   Don't use injection drugs.
    3.   Have sex with only one partner who has only one partner (you).
    4.   Never share needles or syringes.
    5.   Tell your health care providers that you are at risk for infection.
    6.   Don't donate blood, plasma, tissue, sperm, breast milk or organs.
    7.   Before starting a family, talk with your doctor about the possible consequences.

    For more information Call:

    •   Your physician
    •   Your public health nurse
    •   Your regional Medical Officer of Health in:
      •   St. John's
      • 738-4884
      •   Eastern (Holyrood)
      • 229-3352
      •   Central (Gander)
      • 651-3310
      •   Western (Corner Brook)
      • 637-2267
      •   Northern (St. Anthony)
      • 454-3333, ext. 364


    Press the BACK button on your browser to return to FAQ's Main Page.