Youths and Sex Ed


Editor’s Note: The following story was written by a student in the Urban Youth International Journalism Program in partnership with Imagine Englewood If, a youth services organization based in that South Side neighborhood:

At an event about sex education at TEAM Englewood Community Academy High School February 17, I felt like any of the discussions could relate to me. But actually, the people talking were teens my age who got pregnant or contracted a deadly disease – HIV – or other Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs).

Jalen Mitchell reads some important information. Photo by Tyreshia Black.

At the event at the school, 6201 S. Stewart St. in Englewood, a huge crowd in the audience listened to two female doctors, three people who had contracted HIV and teen parents. The doctors explained and compared HIV, AIDS, STDs, STIs and HPV. They explained that HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus, which weakens your immune system by destroying important cells called immune cells that fight against disease and infections. A virus can only reproduce itself by taking over a cell in the body of its host, which it invades and uses to make more copies of itself. The doctors also stated that HIV can hide for a long period in your body.

Two of the people with HIV said they didn’t even know that they had the disease. If they had taken a blood test sooner, they could have been treated and cared for better. One of them, Mr. London, has become an activist, talking to kids and families about his experience with HIV. He told us about ways HIV is spread and not spread. Read more »

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