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What is AIDS and how does it kill?

AIDS stands for "acquired immune deficiency syndrome." It is caused by the HIV or human immunodeficiency virus. AIDS eventually destroys the immune system which is the system our body uses to defend itself from diseases and dangerous germs. The ultimate result is death as a consequence of the body not being able to fight diseases or infections. At present there is no cure for AIDS.

Why should African American teens care about AIDS?

-African Americans make up 13% of the U.S. population yet account for approximately 57% of all new cases of AIDS

-African American woman account for 56% of all U.S. women with AIDS. Heterosexual transmission is the primary route of spread among African American women.

-African Americans aged 13 to 24 years accounted for 63% of new HIV cases between January 1994 and June 1997

-AIDS is now the leading cause of death among African Americans aged 25 to 44

How does a person get AIDS

-AIDS is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus or HIV. HIV is in body fluids (blood, seman, vaginal fluids) of infected individuals.

-A person gets AIDS by participating in any activity that allows body fluids from someone infected with HIV to enter their bloodstream.

-These activities include having sex (vaginal, oral, anal) and sharing needles.

Want to slow the spread of AIDS in our community? Here's How.

-The best way to stop the spread of AIDS is by not having sex.

-If you decide to have sex, it is important to use a latex condom.

-If you use needles and syringes (for whatever reason), please dispose of them properly and don't share them with anyone.

Thank you, James Black for giving us permission to use his pamphlet, "WHAT AFRICAN AMERICAN TEENS SHOULD KNOW"

HIV is a virus that doesn't care what race you are, or what economic background you come from, all it cares about is a host. It is ignorant to have the mindset that "it can't happen to me". If you have unprotected sex, or share needles you're taking a risk that you might pay for with your life. If you need more information on AIDS or whether or not you may be at risk, you can call the national AIDS hotline at:

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