HIV Education Lacking at Many College Orientations

Today's generation of incoming college students has lived with HIV all their lives. For that reason, it may be understandable that it's not at the top of the list of things they worry about.

When the director of the U.N. AIDS program, Dr. Peter Piot, spoke to about 60 Howard University students a couple of weeks ago, he told them the global AIDS epidemic isn't over, and he talked about his visit several years ago with HIV-positive women in Washington, D.C.

"The stories the women were telling there, frankly, I had never heard before. I was so shocked this is going on ... in this town. I will never forget the courage of the women," he said.

He was talking about the fact that the rate of HIV in the District of Columbia is higher than in many African countries: One in 20 people in D.C. are infected with HIV.

According to an annual spring survey conducted by the American College Health Association, three-tenths of 1 percent of students said they had tested positive for HIV in the 12 months prior to the survey. That's about the same as in the general population. But where the prevalence is higher — in places like the District of Columbia — the risk is greater.

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