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Statement of Problem Growing up as a teenager in todays society is not as easy as it may have been in generations past Young adults of todays era face many social and environmental issues that plague them with immense stress For example violence among youth and more specifically school shootings and gang violence strike fear among every adolescents mind before they face each day at school And the pressure from peers for using and abusing illegal drugs is as strong as it has ever been But today the youth of America are faced with a crisis unique to the modern era the soaring rate of adolescent AIDS infection The Human Immunodeficiency Virus or HIV causes the terminal Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome AIDS weakens the bodys immune system to a point where any ordinary infection such as the flu or common cold can cause death Originally thought of as a Gay-Mans disease when AIDS was first prevalent in this country in the early eighties AIDS is now recognized as a major crisis across the country among heterosexuals in addition to the homosexual population of this country Mays Albee Schneider 1989 And in recent years the rate of occurrence of AIDS among Americas youth has increased at an almost exponential rate The statistics are startling According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the estimated 40000 new HIV infections occurring each year over twenty-five percent of those infections occur among youth under the age of twenty In 1986 53 adolescents were reported with AIDS One decade later the number climbed to 403 And just one year later in 1997 the number of total cases of adolescent AIDS in the United States reached 2953 Fuentes 1998 Today AIDS is recognized as the fifth most common cause of death among people ranging from ages 14-24 years A Decade of Denial Teens and AIDS in America 1992 Negative Consequences One obvious negative physiological consequence of an AIDS
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