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Key Ideas

  • AIDS is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the HIV virus.
  • The majority of people infected with HIV develop AIDS within 10 years or so. Because of this long dormant period, many people infected with the AIDS virus don't know it, continue to have unprotected sex, and spread the disease at epidemic rates.
  • AIDS turns off the body's immune system; infected individuals typically die of secondary infections such as pneumonia.
  • AIDS is spread through blood semen, and vaginal fluids. It is not spread through casual contact.

Overview

This section is about AIDS. The background of the epidemic comes first, followed by a discussion of how HIV and AIDS are related. It is made clear that there is no known cure for AIDS, and that the virus can infect anyone regardless of gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. Causes of transmission are delineated. Prevention is stressed. The activity for this section centers on how to solve the problems that AIDS creates for individuals and society as a whole.

Objectives

Students:

\checkmark identify the cause-of AIDS and how it is spread.

\checkmark identify the high-risk behavior associated with AIDS.

\checkmark understand how AIDS affects the victims their friends and family, and society.

Vocabulary

AIDS, antibodies, epidemic, immune system, intravenously, placenta transfusions

Student Materials

Activity 7-1: Dealing with AIDS

  • Activity Report

Teacher Materials

Activity 7-1: Dealing with AIDS

  • Photographs of AIDS victims in various stages (Optional)

Advance Preparation

See Activity 7-1 in the student edition.

Activity 7-1: Dealing with AIDS

  • Make one copy of the Activity Report per group.
  • Arrange the groups so that each group has a strong facilitator, some serious students, and some creative thinkers. This can be a frustrating activity because there are no easy solutions.
  • You are the best judge regarding the pictures of AIDS victims. Most adolescents have not seen the ravaging affects of this disease and may not be able to relate to either the disease or its victims. Pictures might help. They are often a greater deterrent to teenagers than talk of death, which seems impossible to them.

Interdisciplinary Connections

Language Arts Discussion groups help students develop communication skills and can lead to essay or journal writing.

Social Studies AIDS is a serious societal problem. Activities discuss the issues raised by the epidemic. A Mini Activity focuses on AIDS in the news.

Background Information

AIDS is an STD, so what was discussed about other STDs earlier applies to AIDS as well. Of course the key difference is that with AIDS we are dealing with a virtually all-fatal disease. Moreover, the existence of specific high-risk groups (gays and drug abusers) creates special social issues.

It is important that the specter of AIDS not instill in young minds the idea of the lover as the enemy. We need to help young people to develop joyful sexual lives as adults, despite the hazards lurking all around them. But we have to do this without minimizing the dangers and by helping them learn how to protect themselves.

Image Attributions

Description

Authors:

Grades:

6 , 7 , 8

Date Created:

Feb 23, 2012

Last Modified:

Apr 29, 2014
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CK.SCI.ENG.TE.1.Human-Biology-Sexuality.8.1

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