HIV-Related Breakthroughs, Habits and Statistics Point to Need for Preventive Medicine Education


Not too long ago, an HIV-positive test result was as good as a death sentence. Today, the prognosis isnt nearly as grim. While HIV/AIDS remains one of the world's top health threats, recent medical breakthroughs have given infected individuals a ray of hope. It's certainly promising news, but experts believe that the greatest change will come from an educated public.

A 2014 breakthrough at Temple University came in the form of a unique arrangement of proteins that can extract HIV at the cellular level. Bill Gates predicts a standardized vaccine to be available to the public by 2030 and continues to fund research in the field.

Where there's progress, there's bound to be setbacks. The resurgence of measles traces back to a misconception among parents that vaccination can lead to autism and other developmental disorders, an idea refuted by countless medical studies. Throughout history, vaccines have effaced some of the most threatening diseases known to man, including smallpox. Parents who refuse to vaccinate their children put them at great risk of contracting preventable diseases.

Many nations continue to uphold false beliefs about the nature of HIV, and cultural barriers are stopping millions of people from learning the facts about sexually transmitted diseases. It's this kind of paranoia and misinformation that must stop, not just in industrialized nations, but globally to promote real change.

The fact is that HIV/AIDS remains the second leading cause of death among teens and young adults worldwide. Prevention is the most powerful line of defense, and it all boils down to education. It's up to medical professionals to teach, and, more importantly, people to learn.

Here are some main points to drive home:

        Senior citizens are not at lower risk of contracting HIV/AIDS. In fact, statistics estimate that in 2015, over 50 percent of people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States will be 65 years of age or older.

        Sex education shouldn't be limited to teens and adolescents. Older adults, retirees, and people from all walks of life must understand the risks of unprotected sex and learn how to protect themselves.

        Sex education doesn't encourage children to have sex; it gives them the tools they need to make smart decisions.

        Individuals that have an STD have a greater risk of contracting HIV.

        Nations worldwide must recognize sex education as a societal asset rather than a taboo practice.

        Educated parents make educated kids.