Talking to Youth about HIV - Conversation Starters
Talking to youth about HIV/AIDS can often be difficult and uncomfortable
because it requires talking about issues such as sex and drugs. To start a
discussion, it may be helpful to try these strategies:
- Ask what the young people are learning about HIV/AIDS in health, science,
and other classes.
- Start a conversation about choices and consequences. Point out that every
choice has consequences and that young people control and are responsible for
their decisions. Begin by looking at choices such as watching television
versus doing homework and discuss the positive and negative consequences for
each decision. Move into more complicated choices, such as abstaining from or
engaging in sexual activity.
- Reassure young people that starting a discussion about HIV/AIDS does not
mean you assume that they are having sex or using drugs.
- Look to newspapers, magazines, radio and television for references to
HIV/AIDS and ask what they think about it.
- Films, videos and local events such as AIDS walks or fairs can serve as
important conversation starters.
- Provide resources such as a toll-free number in case there is a question
you can't answer or a youth doesn't feel comfortable discussing these issues
For more, please visit the MedicineNet.com Human Immunodeficiency Virus Center.
Source: American Association of World Health
Last Editorial Review: 8/8/2002