Students should be aware that AIDS is still a mortal disease.
Byline: Julien J. Metzmeyer, Staff Writer
Some Valley College students are under the impression that AIDS is now curable and do not feel the need to get protection anymore, according to medical officials.
There are still 120,480 adults and adolescents living with AIDS as of 2013 in California, according to the California Department of Public Health. Since 2005, about 4,000 have been diagnosed with AIDS, and the number of females living with AIDS have doubled since 2007, going from 7,221 to 14,131 in 2013. Condoms can be the difference between life and death.
About 1,000 people die each year in California form AIDS, even though the HIV medication have been improved and allow the patients to live longer and more comfortably with the disease, the antiretroviral medication still cost $10,000-$15,000 per patient per year. This is why the campus should start to advertise better the fact that condoms are at the disposition for the students at the Health Center located at the North Gym. Monarchs only need to sign up to have the ability to receive free condoms by Physician Assistant Sonia B. Nodal.
AIDS and other STDs are a major risk when having intercourse without protection, but there is also the problem of teen pregnancy. California teen birth rates dropped 60% thanks to sexual education. However, compared to other nations, California still leads with teen pregnancy’s. According to the California Department of Education, California’s birth rates to teens are between 4 and 12 times higher than the rates for France, Spain, Italy, The Netherlands, and Japan.
In 2001, more than 53,000 teens, nearly 5% of all teens aged 15 to 19 gave birth in California. All the cost money, the current annual net cost to taxpayers of births to teen mothers in California are estimated to be $1.7 billions, and current annual total net costs to society run $3.7 billion. On the other hand, a condom cost only $1, and can also save a life. So why does Valley not advertise about condoms more? The campus should start selling them at the bookstore and having them available in vending machines all over the campus.
“I’ll be absolutely in favor of vending machines on campus selling condoms and also at the bookstore,” said Physician Assistant Sonia B. Nodal. “And if you feel uncomfortable don’t buy it but at least it’s there.”
AIDS is not curable and people are still dying from it; if Monarchs have doubts that they might be affected, there is an HIV mobile that comes once a month on campus and provide free HIV screening, as well as condoms for both males and females.