Monday, December 1, 2014

Why Are We Still Getting HIV? Teens Respond to the AIDS Epidemic Edited by Laura Longhine

35.3 million people are living with HIV around the world, according to UNAIDS, cited on  35.3 million.  Asking anyone to contemplate the size of that number is a challenge, and Youth Communication’s Why Are We Still Getting HIV? offers numerous angles from which teachers, parents, and other youth workers (including peer educators) can approach the topic through interviews and personal narratives.  This collection includes both anonymous and credited teen authors’ perspectives on HIV, ranging from what it’s like to go for a first HIV test (“What If…” by Anonymous), to having a peer or adult share their positive status (“Saying Goodbye to Uncle Nick,” by Josbeth Lebron, “A Sad Silence,*” by Desiree Guery), to receiving notification of one’s own HIV positive status (“Date with Destiny” by Anonymous,) as well as dealing with a loved one dying from AIDS (My Uncle Died of AIDS” by Anonymous), and living a long life while HIV positive (“All Too Real: Teens Living with HIV*” by NYC Writers and “Twenty Years Living Positive” interview with Dave Nisbett.)  Back matter includes separate notes to teens and staff trainers as well as a discussion guide for teachers and staff on how to use the book effectively.  While the writing varies in style and tone, it is generally very accessible to teens who are reading proficiently and a worthwhile resource in spite of the fact that there have been some significant updates to the American conversation taking place around AIDS since many of these stories were written. --Jessica Fenster-Sparber

*These two stories are available for free in full-text and with lesson plans provided by YC Teen.

Longhine, Laura (Ed.)  Why Are We Still Getting HIV? Teens Respond to the AIDS Epidemic.  New York: Youth Communication, 2010.  Print.

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