Parents and guardians play a critical role in preventing HIV infection among youth. By the time they reach 12th grade, 65% of American youth are sexually active, with one in five reporting four or more sexual partners. It’s time for parents and guardians to face these facts.

As your child’s “first teacher,” you play a critical role in their HIV/AIDS education. Research shows that simply talking to kids about sex and HIV actually delays the onset of sexual activity, promotes safer sexual practices, reduces the number of sexual partners, and reduces unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection rates.

Get involved in your child’s HIV education

  1. Educate yourself about HIV/AIDS and share this information with your child.
  2. Express your support of HIV/AIDS education to the parent coordinator at your child’s school or become one yourself.
  3. Encourage your child’s school or a community center to host a Speakers Bureau workshop.
  4. Ask your child’s teacher to order our video and lesson guide.
  5. Work with your child and/or other parents to organize an event for December 1, World AIDS Day.
  6. Hold a bake sale or car wash with your child to benefit Love Heals or another HIV/AIDS organization.
  7. Get to know the HIV/AIDS resources online and in your community.
  8. Arrange to have part of the AIDS Memorial Quilt displayed at your child’s school or at a community center.
  9. Volunteer for an organization that serves people living with HIV/AIDS and involve your child in this effort.
  10. Don’t forget to protect yourself, too.

Love Heals holds periodic workshops for parents and guardians to help them improve communication with their children when discussing sex and sexuality. Participants had this to say after workshops:

I learned to be a listener more so when my grandchild starts asking about sex or wants to talk about it, I will listen first before I speak.

It was really good to hear other parents talk about things that I thought only I think about.

I will now be able to talk more freely with my daughter.

Learn more about Talking With Your Daughter About Sex & HIV Prevention, a guide that can help you to begin these important conversations with your child.

Visit Resources for additional information and guidance on talking to your kids about HIV/AIDS. Contact us with your questions, stories and suggestions.

We must make sure that our young people have the knowledge and skills to protect themselves—and let them know we are here to support them no matter what choices they make.

– Carol and Jerry Gertz
Parents of Alison Gertz

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