Talking with Youth & Young Adults about HIV and Hepatitis
Centerstone’s Prevention Services team is committed to facilitating effective communication to youth and young adults about the facts surrounding HIV and hepatitis.
HIV is caused by a virus, and if left untreated, can lead to AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). Many young people in the United States contract HIV by having sex or using IV drugs at an early age. Medications are available to help people with HIV live longer, healthier lives. However, there is no cure.
Hepatitis is a severe inflammation of the liver often caused by a virus such as hepatitis A (HAV), hepatitis B (HBV), and hepatitis C (HCV). It can spread from contaminated food or water (HAV) and blood or bodily fluids (HBV and HCV). While HAV rarely requires treatment, HBV and HCV can require antiviral medications. Vaccines are available to help prevent HAV and HBV but not for HCV.
Many young people hear about HIV or hepatitis through the media, school lessons or from their friends. Often, things they “hear” about these conditions may not be completely accurate or factual. In this handbook, facts are provided about HIV and hepatitis transmission, symptoms, and risk factors along with helpful tips on how to discuss these sensitive topics with youth and young adults. Testing information and resource links are also provided with the ultimate goal of keeping everyone educated and safe when it comes to HIV and hepatitis.