HIV: is there a problem among students/young people?

Just read this disturbing article… … HIV-on.htm

'The trend worsened in the first three months of 2010, Lin said. Blood donation centers have reported 22 HIV cases, with students accounting for nine of them, or 40.9 percent. Nineteen of the 22 HIV-positive donors were in the 17-29 age bracket. ’

It looks like the possibility HIV is spreading through the student population here. Now maybe the majority of blood donors are students, I don’t know, but 9 in 3 months? Remember this is not a screen of the student population, rather it’s the students who decide to donate blood voluntarily. So should we multiply this number by 10 or a 100 to get the real number of infected students? As we know many students and young people in Taiwan don’t use safe sex precautions and use abortion as a method of contraception instead.

Now linking this with the anecdotal evidence of the foreign poster who was consciously put at risk of HIV infection and the attitudes and cover-ups involved in that…I’d say be careful out there guys and gals!

Yes there is a problem with (not only young) people here. From anecdotal evidence (talking with people about their sexual experience) both foreigners and locals here seem to quite generally be not really aware plus sometimes not really caring about safe sex. Even people that I would have thought MUCH smarter admitted having unprotected casual sex. One foreigner even told me that lots of his local booty calls are OK with him not wanting to use condoms. OUCH! And yes I asked them if they learned about safer sex in school… yep they did, they even teach a bit about that in Taiwan. Some just didn’t care, and some just “forgot” about it in the heat of…uhm… yeah, in the heat. Or even didn’t dare to ask/mention anything.

I feel casual sex should be only a personal moral issue, if at all - but heck, people even thinking about not protecting themselves (and others!) really freaks me out! In any recent age and time there were various STDs prevalent enough to make protection mandatory in all cases where there was no CHECK that both partners are OK a long enough time before switching to unprotected sex. And HIV is not the biggest concern for that, it can be nagging little things as relatively harmless as UTI.

And I am not even starting to talk about oral sex here, where I feel there are no generally accepted and available safe sex solutions as with intercourse. I mean which girl likes the taste of condoms, and which guy really uses a dental dam when going down?

With EVERY sexual contact, make sure you are at least aware what’s the risk, and (unless tested reliably) always assume that both you and the partner potentially carry some STDs that you are not aware of. Yes, there are lots of STDs where the symptoms can not be seen by the naked eye, or there are no symptoms at all, and you don’t feel it either. Do not assume if you don’t see anything or feel there is nothing.

Don’t be scared of sex, and don’t let thinking about safety too much destroy the fun of it. But at least be aware of all the potential risks.

One example safe sex chart can be found here, no doubt there are more and better ones:

What are the demographic details of those HIV + ?

Any larger group information?

Yes, mostly filthy skanks with a filthy disgusting disease.

So long as you stay away from filthy skanks you’ve got nothing to fear. :2cents:

[quote=“Mother Theresa”]Yes, mostly filthy skanks with a filthy disgusting disease.

So long as you stay away from filthy skanks you’ve got nothing to fear. :2cents:[/quote]

Yeah, I know why you write that and that you are being sarcastic… but exactly this line of “thought” (read: prejudice x dumbness) seems to be the thought many people here limit their practicing of “safe sex” to:

“There is no risk because I am and he/she is not that kind of girl or guy. So since we both are traditional / normal people, must be safe, because we are both clean”. Bullshit…

PS: Thanks to Sandman and you for making me look up “skank” after reading it zillions of times in that other thread :wink:

I’m not so sure it’s widely taught. On World AIDS Day I did a lesson from in my junior and senior high school classes and I asked if they’d ever been taught those things in school and they all said no. (Disclaimer: This was in 12 different classes at only one private junior/senior high school.) Given the recent discussion on this forum that you referred to, it doesn’t appear the West is doing a much better job of education.

S’nothin to do with education. Kids just think they’re bulletproof because they haven’t really grasped the idea of their own mortality.

Add to that developing adolescent brains who are still growing the hardware for impulse control, then of course they’re going to be more diseased.

I respectfully disagree that it has nothing to do with education. What you write about impulse control etc. sounds true of course, and is probably one good explanation for what’s happening - but at least kids need to hear about risks and safer sex before they even have a chance to act responsibly. Since society probably doesn’t want to rely solely on the parents teaching that, having at least a bit of mandatory sex education in school seems essential to me. At least unlike in certain western societies I would imagine there are less parents in TW objecting to this due to religious / morality reasons…

Wow, that’s pretty shocking to be honest. Does anyone have an idea how to find out if sex education like that is actually on the list of “must learn” things for schools in TW?

Generally, and I’m assuming here, if it’s not on the high school or university entrance tests, then it’s either not on the “must learn” list, or quite low on the priorities.

Taiwan has a very high rate of abortions, you can get some idea from that of how they practice contraception and safe-sex.

No, they seem to be busy contracting it as fast as they can, like the scrubs in the West.

[quote="“buttercup”]Kids just think they’re bulletproof because they haven’t really grasped the idea of their own mortality.

Add to that developing adolescent brains who are still growing the hardware for impulse control, then of course they’re going to be more diseased.[/quote]

Quite. Education works as long as kids recognize and respect the authority of those teaching them (they typically don’t), and have the capacity to exercise sufficent control to put into practice what they are taught (they typically don’t).

A school in Maine decided to make birth control pills available to middle schoolers because the previous policy of making condoms freely available was still failing after seven years. Why they think these mindless hormone factories would be more responsible with birth control pills than they had failed to be with condoms, is anyone’s guess.

craig, (edit, sorry, olm, not craig) sure. I was just trying to add that education isn’t a case of telling them that if they shag loads of people (or just the ‘wrong’ one) they might get ill. Kids for the most part know this. They also know they get pregnant, drugs can kill you or mess you up or land you with a criminal record. Drinking and driving is dangerous, date rape drugs exist, alcohol wrecks your liver and brain, MacDonalds is bad for you, etc, etc. They still do it.

I would say that helping kids to develop self esteem and assertiveness to resist pressure to have sex, or to not use a condom, is just as important than the facts and figures. Tell a 15 year old girl she might contract HIV until you’re blue, but if daddy lives somewhere else and mum’s too busy with her new man, and she’s kind of chubby with braces and cheap clothes and no breasts, bad grades, not good at sport, and she lives in the wrong part of town, chances are she’s more vulnerable to ‘they just don’t feel right … I don’t want anything to come between us … You’d do it if you loved me … of COURSE I love you Cla … er, Jenny!’

This is excellent advice. :thumbsup:

Well, if you teach every single child like she’s worth something, and even if she’s rubbish at your subject, she’s still beautiful, clever, full of potential, and can do anything if she tries (not the same as the ‘everyone gets a prize’ culture). Teachers are important, because for whatever reasons, parents often crap out on this front, however hard they, because paradoxically they are just too involved. Positive feedback from ‘neutral’ adults is golden, as long as it isn’t fakey or patronising.

I’ve never done sex ed with kids because it wouldn’t be appropriate within my remit, but I do teach girls and boys that their skin, hair, body shape, whatever, is beautiful. That it’s OK to come last in the English test as long as you sincerely tried and you did better than last time. Also that you don’t victimise weaker kids to get what you want and that’s shameful, not that being ‘weaker’ is shameful.

Teenaged girls especially who feel they have something to offer don’t trade sex for affection or approval.

And while the HIV rate is rising, they still talk of lost pet, petty burglars and how to loose fat on TV news… This is really one sad thing I hate about Taiwan :bluemad:

Maybe it is time for us men to pick up fresh new foreign arrivals at the airport, since all of them would have to pass the HIV test before getting their resident visas.

Better to pick them up outside Renai hospital when they have their health certificates.

Better to pick them up outside Renai hospital when they have their health certificates.[/quote]

Good idea. Who wants to be my wingman?

Let me just fix that.