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<v Speaker>[music] AIDS is prevented by um you can watch, watch who you <v Speaker>play with watch who you're with at times. <v Speaker>Um be careful what you eat of. <v Speaker>You prevent AIDS by uh sex- <v Speaker>sexual intercourse. <v Valerie>I wish I would knew more to protect myself <v Valerie>and then I'm sorry well, I'm not, I'm still not that, but I still got it. <v Speaker>Oh, wait, from kissing can you get it? <v Michael Thurnherr>I was infected in my teens. <v Michael Thurnherr>I did not have any AIDS education until it was probably already too late to prevent <v Michael Thurnherr>me from getting the HIV infection. <v Michael Thurnherr>So, you know, I mean, I think I'm a clear example of somebody who could have benefited <v Michael Thurnherr>from such an education. <v Announcer>Next on WTTW Journal, Protect Yourself Teaching Your Children <v Announcer>about AIDS. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Hello, I'm Dr. Bruce Dan. You've just met some fifth and sixth grade children who've had <v Dr. Bruce Dan>little or no AIDS education.
<v Dr. Bruce Dan>You've also heard from some people infected with the HIV virus. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>People whose lives might have been different if they'd been better informed about the <v Dr. Bruce Dan>virus. AIDS is a disease which is contracted mainly through sexual activity <v Dr. Bruce Dan>or needles used in drug abuse. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>And we're here to ask the question, do young people have the right to know how AIDS can <v Dr. Bruce Dan>be contracted or preventive? <v Dr. Bruce Dan>You know, there are a number of social problems and health issues affecting children <v Dr. Bruce Dan>today. Dangerous drugs. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Teenage pregnancy. Sexually transmitted diseases. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>And tragically, all of them lead to AIDS, a disease that kills. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>And this leads us to our topic of discussion, AIDS and AIDS education for our children. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>It's a subject which is tough enough for adults to deal with. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>The difficulty expands enormously when it comes to educating our kids. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>But it's about time for parents to face this epidemic. <v Michael Thurnherr>It's unrealistic to say that high school or high school age kids aren't having sex, <v Michael Thurnherr>aren't having heterosexual sex, aren't having homosexual sex because they are. <v Michael Thurnherr>I was, ya know. <v Announcer>Michael Thurnherr is 23. He tested positive for the AIDS virus when he
<v Announcer>was 20. Like most Americans, he began experimenting with sex in his teens. <v Announcer>No one ever told him he was risking his life. <v Michael Thurnherr>I was, in fact, in my teens. I did not have any AIDS education until <v Michael Thurnherr>it was probably already too late to prevent me from getting the HIV infection. <v Michael Thurnherr>So, you know, I think I'm a clear example of somebody who could have benefited from such <v Michael Thurnherr>an education. <v Announcer>As a gay white male, Michael belongs to a community that was the first to feel the full <v Announcer>impact of this epidemic. But currently, the percentage of AIDS cases contracted <v Announcer>through male to male sex is declining, while infection through the sharing of needles <v Announcer>and heterosexual sex is on the rise and the people being hardest hit are <v Announcer>disproportionately black and Hispanic. <v Valerie>I wish I would knew more to protect myself. <v Announcer>This young woman, we'll call her Valerie, is 18 black and eight months <v Announcer>pregnant. Last year, she tested positive for HIV infection. <v Announcer>There's a 30 percent chance that her baby will also be positive.
<v Announcer>She had no idea that she was at risk. <v Announcer>She'd gone to the hospital with what appeared to be a rash. <v Announcer>She was eventually tested for the AIDS virus. <v Valerie>Then one day I get a letter in the mail and this guy from some guy don't even know. <v Valerie>But he says he was the doctor. And then I go and see him, and he tells me <v Valerie>this. And then, you know, I don't know how to you know, my feelings is doing this way <v Valerie>that away. And then it's like I felt like one committed suicide, <v Valerie>then I was like, well, why this happening to me, you know? <v Valerie>And then for a minute, I was like, how it happened to me? <v Announcer>Like an increasing number of young black and Hispanic female teenagers. <v Announcer>Valerie was exposed through unprotected sex with her boyfriend. <v Announcer>She didn't know that a condom was for anything else but birth control. <v Announcer>She never thought seriously that her boyfriend's behaviors could in any way place her <v Announcer>at risk. <v Aida Giachello>It's those that live in certain geographical areas with extreme poverty. <v Aida Giachello>Those who already, in the case of women, for example, already dating
<v Aida Giachello>guys who are I.V. drug user, who are already exposed <v Aida Giachello>to a series of conditions where they have less knowledge about AIDS prevention <v Aida Giachello>and education, where they have low self-esteem, where you have a high incidence of school <v Aida Giachello>dropout rate, where you have the whole characteristic of a low income <v Aida Giachello>group. That's where the AIDS cases are happening. <v Novella Dudley>We're seeing more people of color, more <v Novella Dudley>women in their childbearing years and more children now <v Novella Dudley>with the virus. <v Announcer>Novella Dudley is 42 years old. <v Announcer>Four years ago, she tested positive for the AIDS virus. <v Announcer>The news of her infection came to her as a complete shock, as did the revelation of <v Announcer>how she'd been exposed. <v Novella Dudley>I asked him if he was having sex with males and he told me, yes. <v Novella Dudley>To make it short, I was infected by a man who <v Novella Dudley>lived with for eight years who didn't choose tell me that he was bisexual. <v Announcer>Novella travels all over the Chicago area and the United States speaking to health care
<v Announcer>professionals, teachers, parents, church groups and children about the threat of <v Announcer>AIDS and about the plight of people like herself who'd been infected. <v Announcer>She's the coordinator of support services for the Chicago Women's AIDS Project <v Announcer>and a peer educator with Cook County Hospital's Women and Children with AIDS program. <v Announcer>Of all the groups she speaks to, she's most concerned about kids. <v Announcer>In her view, they are the ones most threatened. <v Novella Dudley>I find that a lot of youngsters feel that they're immortal, that <v Novella Dudley>they can't die, that nothing will happen to them. <v Novella Dudley>And yes, I felt that way when I was young, too. <v Novella Dudley>But it does happen and it can happen and it is happening. <v Novella Dudley>And I let them know that I have talked to people who it has happened to. <v Novella Dudley>And that's one message I give to them, <v Novella Dudley>that the virus is striking young people and it's striking them fast. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Let's take a look at some of the latest statistics regarding AIDS and teenage sexual
<v Dr. Bruce Dan>behavior. The reported cases of U.S. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>adolescents with AIDS has increased 40 percent in the last two years. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>In the U.S. the average age for first sexual experience is 16 for girls <v Dr. Bruce Dan>and 15 and a half for boys. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Sixty percent of all U.S. high school seniors have used illicit drugs. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>And the World Health Organization projects that in less than 10 years, up to 10 <v Dr. Bruce Dan>million children worldwide will be infected with the HIV virus. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Well, we'll be introducing you to doctors and experts who deal with AIDS on a daily basis <v Dr. Bruce Dan>and the concerned parents, teachers and teenagers who've joined us in the audience. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>And we'll take a look at different approaches to AIDS education in schools throughout <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Chicago and its suburbs. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Well, joining me to examine some of the major health issues facing our children today are <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Dr. Madeleine Shallowitz, a behavioral and developmental pediatrician at La Rabbitta <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Children's Hospital, and Dr. Horace Smith, a specialist in hematology <v Dr. Bruce Dan>and oncology at Children's Memorial Hospital.
<v Dr. Bruce Dan>Dr. Smith, let me ask you first. What are some of the major health issues that are really <v Dr. Bruce Dan>affecting our children today? <v Dr. Horace Smith>Well, health issues now, when kids mainly revolve around, again, family and <v Dr. Horace Smith>lifestyle issues. As pediatricians, our role really is education <v Dr. Horace Smith>and it begins from the mother being pregnant and then begin to deal with children <v Dr. Horace Smith>with chronic disease, some acute disease, and just a myriad of diseases that we <v Dr. Horace Smith>have to deal with. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Dr. Shallowitz, how are these linked to AIDS and HIV infection? <v Dr. Madeleine Shallowitz>Many of the issues that we talk about with adolescents are lifestyle issues. <v Dr. Madeleine Shallowitz>Should they get involved in sex? Should they get involved in drugs, alcohol? <v Dr. Madeleine Shallowitz>Uh, can they run the risk of getting pregnant or getting a sexually transmitted disease? <v Dr. Madeleine Shallowitz>And AIDS is a sexually transmitted disease, which is one of the number of things that <v Dr. Madeleine Shallowitz>adolescents need to deal with. And probably the worst in that when they get infected, the <v Dr. Madeleine Shallowitz>chances are the disease will be lethal. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>What do kids really know about AIDS at this point in time? <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Here it is, 10 years after the epidemic. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>You have a good idea of what they know, what they don't know?
<v Dr. Horace Smith>I'm not sure that we have a good idea. I think that that is different in different age <v Dr. Horace Smith>groups populations. However, I think it's very important and clearly seen that <v Dr. Horace Smith>active information has to be gotten out to this age group that is so <v Dr. Horace Smith>vitally important for us. And is at a risk for HIV infection. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>What age group we're talking about? Are we talking about 17 year olds, 13 year olds. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>What age group are we really when we focus on kids and AIDS, who should we be talking to? <v Dr. Madeleine Shallowitz>That really depends on the community that you're talking about. <v Dr. Madeleine Shallowitz>In some communities where sexual activity becomes or comes earlier and more frequently, <v Dr. Madeleine Shallowitz>that issue needs to be tackled with a younger age group. <v Dr. Madeleine Shallowitz>And we're really talking about 8, 9, 10 year olds. <v Dr. Madeleine Shallowitz>The problem that you run into when you talk to children of that age is what can they <v Dr. Madeleine Shallowitz>really understand of the information that we give them? <v Dr. Madeleine Shallowitz>Are they really just going to be parrots of what we tell them? <v Dr. Madeleine Shallowitz>Will they be able to tell us it's the HIV 1 virus, but not really know what the <v Dr. Madeleine Shallowitz>connection of that is to to a disease? <v Dr. Madeleine Shallowitz>They really don't understand that cold, that colds are caused by viruses. <v Dr. Madeleine Shallowitz>So can we really expect them to understand that it's a virus that happens when they have
<v Dr. Madeleine Shallowitz>sex that's going to give them a disease. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>A tough problem. Well, before we continue our discussion about AIDS education, <v Dr. Bruce Dan>let's quickly look at some of the scientific facts about AIDS and the HIV virus. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>You might know about these facts, but do your children? <v Dr. Bruce Dan>The AIDS virus called the human immunodeficiency virus or HIV for short <v Dr. Bruce Dan>causes this damage by attacking one particular cell, the T cell in the body's immune <v Dr. Bruce Dan>system and the T-cells, the co-ordinator of the entire immune system, much like the <v Dr. Bruce Dan>conductor of an orchestra. And without it, the immune system becomes disorganized and can <v Dr. Bruce Dan>no longer fight infection. Even usually harmless bacteria and viruses can <v Dr. Bruce Dan>be deadly to a person whose immune system has been left defenseless by the loss of <v Dr. Bruce Dan>effective T cells. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>HIV is most often transmitted sexually from men to women by infected semen. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>But it can also be transmitted from women to men, from infected vaginal fluid, <v Dr. Bruce Dan>from mother to baby during the birth process and even to babies from infected mothers <v Dr. Bruce Dan>during breastfeeding. Can also be spread by sharing contaminated needles.
<v Dr. Bruce Dan>And even with our modern screening techniques, rarely through transfusions of blood <v Dr. Bruce Dan>or blood products. AIDS, like every other sexually transmitted disease, can <v Dr. Bruce Dan>be prevented by total abstinence. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>For those engaging in sex by wearing a condom. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Since there's no known cure for the disease, these two options and education <v Dr. Bruce Dan>are the only protection we have against AIDS. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Now, no one would willingly withhold information from children about the dangers of <v Dr. Bruce Dan>drugs, of smoking or alcohol abuse or diseases like food poisoning or <v Dr. Bruce Dan>rubella, German measles. So let's apply the same logic to the AIDS crisis, <v Dr. Bruce Dan>because it is a crisis. And if you don't tell your kids about AIDS, they may find <v Dr. Bruce Dan>out about it too late. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Christina Lewis is a spokesperson with the National Association of People with AIDS. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>She's 22 and was date raped when she was 19. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>She thinks that's when she was infected with the HIV virus. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>And this young woman, whom we'll call Shelley, is a peer educator in Chicago. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>She teaches other teenagers about AIDS, although she's not infected herself,
<v Dr. Bruce Dan>members of her family are. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>And as you heard, Novella Dudley is the coordinator of support services at Chicago <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Women's AIDS Project. She was infected with the HIV virus by her bisexual <v Dr. Bruce Dan>lover. Christina, let me ask you first. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Do you think if you had been educated at AIDS early on when you were a teenager, it would <v Dr. Bruce Dan>have helped any? <v Christina Lewis>I think it probably would have, because what was true for for me was true for a lot <v Christina Lewis>of my my peers at the time was that AIDS was something that we only <v Christina Lewis>thought happened to homosexuals, IV drug users. <v Christina Lewis>And if we weren't those people, then we didn't have to worry about AIDS. <v Christina Lewis>All we had to worry about was getting pregnant, um which isn't true anymore. <v Christina Lewis>And it actually wasn't true for us then either. <v Christina Lewis>Um only later on in life did I find out that it was true. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Shelley, let me ask you. You're a peer educator. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>You talk to kids about AIDS. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>We're now talking to fifth and sixth graders about things like abstinence. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>That's something we didn't do 10 or 15 years ago. <v Shelley>It's harder on the kids now because there's more
<v Shelley>there's more questions for them to ask adults. <v Shelley>And they don't know exactly what to ask because now they're being told about sex. <v Shelley>Now they're being told about AIDS. <v Shelley>And this is a rough time for them. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>What should they know? Let me ask you, Novella. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>At what age do we teach these kids things. I mean, how far do we go? <v Dr. Bruce Dan>What do we tell them? <v Novella Dudley>You tell them everything um there is about the virus as much as their minds <v Novella Dudley>can absorb. I've talked to 8 year olds who are sexually active. <v Novella Dudley>Um, that's when I've had to educate them on just about everything about AIDS. <v Novella Dudley>So it depends on what these children are doing and <v Novella Dudley>um how old they are is how how much you tell them and what you tell them. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>I guess it's an individual basis. Let me introduce you to someone else. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Could you stand up, please? This is Ramon Bwaynerostro, who is the head of the uh <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Hispanic Health Alliance. In the Hispanic community, it's a very different community. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Not only is there a language barrier, but uh data is shown there's a lot of denial in the
<v Dr. Bruce Dan>Hispanic community about the whole disease itself. <v Ramon Bwaynerostro>Yes, um to kind of somewhat repeat what Ms. <v Ramon Bwaynerostro>Lewis said. Among the Hispanic community, there's also many other issues that are related <v Ramon Bwaynerostro>to HIV infection and possibility of transmission in working with <v Ramon Bwaynerostro>kids, especially because of the denial. <v Ramon Bwaynerostro>You need to work backwards and you need to start at basics like self-esteem and teaching <v Ramon Bwaynerostro>them to love themselves and to care about themselves enough to want to prevent becoming <v Ramon Bwaynerostro>infected by HIV. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Let me ask anybody on the panel, how do you really teach kids about AIDS? <v Dr. Bruce Dan>I mean, it's tough when you're a fifth grader to understand about health and biology and <v Dr. Bruce Dan>the things I took in health class mean, how do you teach about a disease that can <v Dr. Bruce Dan>actually kill you? <v Novella Dudley>It's a plus for me because I am infected and I let them know that this is a virus <v Novella Dudley>that kills. There is no cure for it. <v Novella Dudley>And that anyone could be at risk. <v Christina Lewis>I think that's an advantage that I have also in teaching kids, is that they can look at <v Christina Lewis>me and they can see an example of, you know, this is out there and it's infecting <v Christina Lewis>people just like, you know, you and me, everybody.
<v Christina Lewis>You know, it doesn't really matter who you are. <v Christina Lewis>It really matters what you do. <v Christina Lewis>Um and I think it's also very important in terms of educating um our young people is that <v Christina Lewis>we be very reality based. <v Christina Lewis>You know, we can we can try and we can suggest abstinence to them. <v Christina Lewis>And it is 100 percent foolproof. <v Christina Lewis>But the problem is that we have to always realize that not all the kids are <v Christina Lewis>going to listen to that message. And we have to try and arm them with the knowledge of <v Christina Lewis>if they're not going to be abstinent. This is what you need to do. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Well, we have a lot of kids and older people in the audience who probably will listen <v Dr. Bruce Dan>today, well they have some questions? Go ahead and ask your question and who you want to <v Dr. Bruce Dan>ask it to? <v Speaker>Christine. How long did it take for you to know you had the AIDS virus? <v Christina Lewis>Um, I donated blood when I was 21. <v Christina Lewis>Um, I was completely unaware that I'd been exposed. <v Christina Lewis>You know, again, I was I was completely in denial of the fact that anything like this <v Christina Lewis>could happen to me. So I had no idea. <v Christina Lewis>I just went down to a blood mobile. I donated blood, and that's how I found out. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Let me ask you, Novella, I mean, you were infected.
<v Dr. Bruce Dan>Not only didn't you know you're infected, but you had no idea that your husband was at <v Dr. Bruce Dan>risk himself and transmit it to you. <v Novella Dudley>That's right. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Nobody really knows. I guess if they're with somebody who may be at risk. <v Novella Dudley>So anyone could be at risk is what I try to say, that anyone could be at <v Novella Dudley>risk. The thing is that you try to know your partner as best <v Novella Dudley>as you can. And had I really tried to know this man <v Novella Dudley>better, I probably would have looked at things that would have led me to believe that <v Novella Dudley>he was having bisexual affairs. <v Novella Dudley>But I didn't. I knew nothing about AIDS. <v Novella Dudley>I knew nothing about the virus. And I became symptomatic with <v Novella Dudley>HIV in 1985. However, I wasn't tested until 1987. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>And we have another question over here. Yes, sir. <v Speaker>I'm curious. I've been hearing about AIDS for years now. <v Speaker>How much did you know about AIDS before you were before you contracted <v Speaker>AIDS? <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Maybe each of you could tell us that. <v Novella Dudley>I didn't know a thing. Like I said, in 1985 I started having symptoms,
<v Novella Dudley>but I didn't know what these symptoms were. <v Novella Dudley>I went around for 2 years to doctors who didn't seem to <v Novella Dudley>think that I was at risk because I wasn't using I.V. <v Novella Dudley>drugs and they didn't seem to ask any other questions. <v Novella Dudley>So for over a little over 2 years I went around undiagnosed. <v Novella Dudley>And then in '87, when I thought that it wasn't anything <v Novella Dudley>physically, it had to be mentally a psychiatrist finally um brought <v Novella Dudley>me down to earth and we talked about it and I was tested. <v Novella Dudley>I was devastated. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Christina. <v Christina Lewis>I think uh for me, too. I thought I knew a lot about the disease. <v Christina Lewis>I thought, you know, I mean, I knew what safe sex was and I knew how you practice safe <v Christina Lewis>sex. I wasn't, of course, practicing it. <v Christina Lewis>But I mean, I knew what it was and I knew what the disease was. <v Christina Lewis>But I didn't know really that much about the implications of it. <v Christina Lewis>I knew, you know, how you could get exposed. <v Christina Lewis>But I didn't really know the difference between HIV positive and what the word AIDS
<v Christina Lewis>really meant. Um, I didn't understand those really important factors and that sort <v Christina Lewis>of held me back when I finally found out that I was HIV positive. <v Christina Lewis>All of a sudden I had a million questions I didn't have the answer to, but I learned <v Christina Lewis>quickly. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>I have one more question up here. Yes, sir. <v Speaker>Um my question I'd like to address the total panel, and that is um <v Speaker>the church seems to be ignoring this this issue. <v Speaker>What specific role do you think the church um <v Speaker>should be playing in this uh crises <v Speaker>as it relates to the HIV virus? <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Church is certainly a powerful social group. <v Novella Dudley>It is, especially the black church. And when I started peer education, I started in my <v Novella Dudley>church where most of our youth came and their parents. <v Novella Dudley>They brought their parents. So it was great. <v Novella Dudley>So if churches could have a program like an AIDS educational <v Novella Dudley>day and we did it on Youth Day, which was great, and it was it went real well.
<v Novella Dudley>Now, a lot of churches may not accept that this accept this, <v Novella Dudley>but they need to. And I'm glad that my church did and a lot of other black churches <v Novella Dudley>that I was able to go in and do peer education session in did. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Christina, how do you feel about not only the church, but other community based <v Dr. Bruce Dan>organizations that have a very strong social impact on the way people believe in act? <v Christina Lewis>Well, I think it is really important, especially since the church is so focused on <v Christina Lewis>family, that I think that's where the emphasis really needs to come from the family. <v Christina Lewis>Um, we need to talk about this disease and we need to talk about sex more openly <v Christina Lewis>than we have before. We can't just go on and ignore it and hope that our kids, you <v Christina Lewis>know, pick it up somewhere on TV or in school or wherever. <v Christina Lewis>We need to make sure that that education is taking place, um whether it's in the church <v Christina Lewis>or the family or wherever. <v Christina Lewis>We just have to make sure that that education is getting through. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Shelley, let's talk about pure education for children. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>You do that all the time. What can you tell us about it? <v Shelley>Mostly, I work with teenagers my age from 13 to 19,
<v Shelley>and I mostly talk about their sex life and <v Shelley>how they more or less get into more or less peer pressure and how peer <v Shelley>pressure is concerning sex. <v Shelley>And what have they learned from their parents? <v Shelley>What have they learned from their books? What have they learned from teachers and from <v Shelley>that point on, I focus on what they're supposed to know, what they need to know and <v Shelley>teach 'em about prevention. <v Shelley>What exactly is preventing and teaching my HIV <v Shelley>and AIDS 'cause a lot of them all they know is AIDS. <v Shelley>They don't know the difference between HIV and AIDS. <v Shelley>What is HIV? What's AIDS? <v Shelley>What's the disease? What's the virus? What could kill you? <v Shelley>What cannot kill you. And from that point on, we focus on that and expands. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Certainly they need to learn something about it. We all do. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>And, you know, knowledge is the key to staying alive. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>The Chicago Public School System has a mandatory health education program that includes <v Dr. Bruce Dan>information on AIDS. In addition, schools can choose from 17 other supplemental
<v Dr. Bruce Dan>AIDS education programs in association with community agencies. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Each school can select the one which they feel most comfortable with. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Each program is guided by a different approach, but the goal is always the same to <v Dr. Bruce Dan>educate children about the dangers of AIDS. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>In 1988, Michael Reese Hospital developed a program targeted at fifth and sixth graders <v Dr. Bruce Dan>that provides basic information on AIDS, HIV infection and prevention. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>One of the health educators is Felicia Rodriguez, a master's candidate at the University <v Dr. Bruce Dan>of Chicago. <v Felicia Rodriguez>We're targeting fifth and sixth graders in the black and Hispanic communities <v Felicia Rodriguez>in the Chicago Public School District. <v Felicia Rodriguez>Fifth and sixth graders are considered <v Felicia Rodriguez>a high risk group, particularly among black and Hispanics. <v Felicia Rodriguez>Why? Because the early onset of sexual activity, <v Felicia Rodriguez>their exposure to drugs and drug abusers, their denial <v Felicia Rodriguez>of negative consequences and their experimentation
<v Felicia Rodriguez>with sex. <v Felicia Rodriguez>Now, again, that's not to say, you know, blacks <v Felicia Rodriguez>and Hispanics, they're at it again doing something that's bad. <v Felicia Rodriguez>No, that's not what I'm saying at all. <v Felicia Rodriguez>I'm saying that those are facts. <v Felicia Rodriguez>That's the reality. And now we've got to do something about it. <v Felicia Rodriguez>We can't wait for these communities to uh, <v Felicia Rodriguez>we can't wait to see adolescents, young kids <v Felicia Rodriguez>contracting HIV and dying of AIDS. <v Felicia Rodriguez>It will be too late. Let's do it now. <v Felicia Rodriguez>Let's provide these prevention programs now, because I don't think there's any parent <v Felicia Rodriguez>out there who is willing to risk silence when it comes <v Felicia Rodriguez>to sex for their child's life. <v Andrew Boxer>Certainly a significant number of kids drop out of school before <v Andrew Boxer>they graduate high school. <v Andrew Boxer>And that number varies depending on what part of the city you're
<v Andrew Boxer>in. But regardless of that, we thought that giving kids information before <v Andrew Boxer>they drop out is one way of reaching kids and giving them some information <v Andrew Boxer>prior to their leaving the school system. <v Andrew Boxer>Because once they're out of the system, there's another prevention problem <v Andrew Boxer>that we have, which is how do you reach kids who are at risk, who are out on the streets, <v Andrew Boxer>perhaps, or just not in school? <v Felicia Rodriguez>Here's the puzzle. AIDS is the disease. <v Felicia Rodriguez>HIV is the virus. <v Felicia Rodriguez>Modes of transmission is how one person can give it to <v Felicia Rodriguez>another. <v Beverly Johnson Biehr>Some of the studies they're doing in the West Suburban Hospital I think um are showing <v Beverly Johnson Biehr>that our young girls, adolescents coming in that are giving birth are there's a very <v Beverly Johnson Biehr>high rate of HIV infection amongst the young adolescents. <v Beverly Johnson Biehr>And so we do with the problem is there and it's it's ready to become worse. <v Beverly Johnson Biehr>And um and so there isn't a whole lot of time to spare. <v Beverly Johnson Biehr>You know, with AIDS education, I guess that's why I was trying to say before that to try <v Beverly Johnson Biehr>to get the message out, but not to overreact. <v Beverly Johnson Biehr>I mean, you know, you have to get it within a context of a traditional, you know,
<v Beverly Johnson Biehr>education program. We don't want to scare the kids because um first of all, <v Beverly Johnson Biehr>scare tactics don't work with the ones that need to be scared. <v Beverly Johnson Biehr>And and they only scare the kids that don't need to be scared. <v Beverly Johnson Biehr>And so this works, this has been true of drug education and everything else. <v Beverly Johnson Biehr>So it's just a major you know, it's a step by step educational <v Beverly Johnson Biehr>process. And I feel strongly that that if it hasn't begun before, it has to <v Beverly Johnson Biehr>begin in fifth grade on up. <v Felicia Rodriguez>This is a choice. <v Felicia Rodriguez>No sex. Say abstinence. <v Felicia Rodriguez>[children repeat abstinence] I try very hard to emphasize <v Felicia Rodriguez>abstinence, monogamy, responsibility. <v Felicia Rodriguez>But uh again, you have to be you have to be careful. <v Felicia Rodriguez>And you can't be a dictator and you can't take control <v Felicia Rodriguez>of of these kids lives, um you, you <v Felicia Rodriguez>must, I think, remain neutral and not be critical. <v Felicia Rodriguez>No. Sex is a choice that you have.
<v Felicia Rodriguez>Please, when you decide to go out with someone or <v Felicia Rodriguez>get involved with someone or have a relationship with someone, and <v Felicia Rodriguez>later on, you might even decide that you want to get married. <v Felicia Rodriguez>I don't know. You might decide you want to live with someone. <v Felicia Rodriguez>I don't know. But what's very important is, is to be committed <v Felicia Rodriguez>to one person. <v Felicia Rodriguez>And it doesn't end there. You have to talk to that person. <v Felicia Rodriguez>You have to learn about that person, learn their habits. <v Felicia Rodriguez>What are they doing? What do they like to do? <v Felicia Rodriguez>What do they like to talk about? <v Felicia Rodriguez>Think before you do. <v Felicia Rodriguez>Do what? Think before you decide to have <v Felicia Rodriguez>sex. <v Latesha McCoy>She told us a lot of thing that I didn't know. <v Jenny Nambo>I thought it was educating and I think that they should do it to all kids <v Jenny Nambo>before before they turn into their teens. <v Announcer>Michael Reese Hospital was so pleased with the response to their program that they <v Announcer>decided to videotape one of Felicia's classroom presentations to be distributed
<v Announcer>throughout Chicago's schools. <v Announcer>The tape also includes dramatic situations that fifth and sixth graders may have <v Announcer>experienced. <v Child Actor 1>Guys, guys, why y'all worried about AIDS? <v Child Actor 1>We ain't had no blood transfusions and we like girls. <v Child Actor 1>Y'all worried for nothing man. 'Cause, you know, I'm pretty sure that mostly gay men get <v Child Actor 1>AIDS. <v Child Actor 2>Weren't you listening? Girls candefinitely get AIDS and straight guys too. <v Child Actor 3>And all those people who shoot drugs. <v Announcer>Although, Michael Reese health educators stress, abstinence and monogamy is the only 100 <v Announcer>percent way to prevent HIV infection. <v Announcer>They feel the necessity to talk frankly about sexual behavior and the importance of using <v Announcer>condoms. <v Felicia Rodriguez>Unprotected. <v Felicia Rodriguez>That's the key word. Unprotected sexual intercourse. <v Felicia Rodriguez>What's unprotected sexual intercourse? <v Student>Sex without a condo? <v Felicia Rodriguez>Sex without a condo very close. <v Felicia Rodriguez>Sex without a condom.
<v Felicia Rodriguez>Condom. Sex without a condom. <v Felicia Rodriguez>That's very important. <v Felicia Rodriguez>Was that embarrassing? <v Student 2>It's disgusting. <v Felicia Rodriguez>Disgusting. It's better to be embarrassed than to be dead. <v Felicia Rodriguez>[music] [Song: What's So Big About AIDS peformed by AIDS Educational Theatre] <v Announcer>AIDS Educational Theater began in 1987. <v Announcer>The company's philosophy is that youth, minorities and the urban poor do not have <v Announcer>easy access to traditional forms of education. <v Announcer>Yet sadly, they are the most at risk for HIV infection because of their lack of <v Announcer>information and their high risk behavior. <v Announcer>So they try and relay their message through song and dance. <v Announcer>This work is performed for elementary school children.
<v Dr. Ana Manglano>Abstinence. Who knows what is abstinence in this class? <v Announcer>Almost everyone agrees that sexual abstinence is the ideal means of AIDS prevention <v Announcer>for young people, but not everyone agrees on whether condom use should be part of AIDS <v Announcer>education. <v Dr. Marcella Myers>We want students to hear the good news that waiting until marriage <v Dr. Marcella Myers>to get involved in a sexual relationship is possible, normal, <v Dr. Marcella Myers>and healthy. <v Announcer>Dr. Marcella Myers, chairman of the Southwest Parents Committee and the director of that <v Announcer>group's abstinence education program. <v Dr. Ana Manglano>You have a power to make and it's your decisions. <v Dr. Ana Manglano>You have the power of controlling your instincts. <v Announcer>The program, which consists of two one hour sessions, is targeted at sixth, seventh <v Announcer>and eighth graders. Its goal is much broader than simply warning children about the <v Announcer>threat of AIDS. <v Dr. Ana Manglano>Important because most of them time young people confuse really <v Dr. Ana Manglano>true love with sex. <v Dr. Ana Manglano>And sex is part of love in the married life, but it's not
<v Dr. Ana Manglano>all. Love involves much more. <v Dr. Ana Manglano>All right. So probably if people say love is sex, all this, no. <v Dr. Ana Manglano>For <v Dr. Ana Manglano>love, you need all these other qualities here, and you need <v Dr. Ana Manglano>respect. You need caring. You need support. <v Dr. Ana Manglano>You need understanding. <v Dr. Ana Manglano>You need patience. You need all these ingredients and sex is part <v Dr. Ana Manglano>of showing this love, but is not all. <v Announcer>The program attempts to tell children some of the many reasons why sex before marriage is <v Announcer>unhealthy, unhealthy from a physical standpoint, as well as a social and moral <v Announcer>standpoint. Last year, the group presented their program in 15 schools, speaking <v Announcer>to nearly 2500 students. <v Announcer>The immediate reaction of these eighth graders at Nathan Davis Elementary School was <v Announcer>positive. <v Karen Flores>Everybody tells us that girls can get pregnant or get diseases, but <v Karen Flores>it's not really a complete explanation.
<v Karen Flores>They don't give us a class like this. <v Jimmy Guzman>I think it was really good because um I liked the part about the unselfishness and <v Jimmy Guzman>the selfishness, because it's really true. <v Jimmy Guzman>Most people use uh the other person just for the body. <v Jimmy Guzman>Which is um really a bad thing to do. <v Jesus Esquivel>It was educational. And you have you shouldn't have sex before you meet because you may <v Jesus Esquivel>get different kinds of diseases like AIDS. <v Announcer>But the question remains, if we were to arm children against the AIDS virus, is <v Announcer>it enough to simply tell them why it's important to abstain from sex and drug use? <v Announcer>Shouldn't they also be told about protecting themselves with condoms and not sharing <v Announcer>needles? <v Dr. Marcella Myers>The only problem is, I think with that type of approach is that you're really giving <v Dr. Marcella Myers>the child mixed messages and they're already getting mixed messages from <v Dr. Marcella Myers>television, from videos. <v Dr. Marcella Myers>And uh if we present, for example, all sides of the <v Dr. Marcella Myers>issue then and we bring up other options, then of course, the students
<v Dr. Marcella Myers>will dismiss or put in the back of their mind the point we are trying to emphasize, <v Dr. Marcella Myers>and that is abstinence is the only method that's 100 percent safe. <v AIDS Theatre Actor 1>I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore. <v Announcer>The Wizard of AIDS, which stands for. <v Announcer>Aware Individuals Deserving Survival is another AIDS educational theater <v Announcer>production aimed primarily at high school students delivering the safe sex <v Announcer>message with humor and compassion and without preaching. <v AIDS Theatre Actor 2>Do you advocate safe sex or unsafe sex? <v AIDS Theatre Actor 1>Oh, well, which is which? <v AIDS Theatre Actor 2>That's my point. If you're a good witch you'll advocate safe sex, which helps <v AIDS Theatre Actor 2>stop the spread of HIV. <v AIDS Theatre Actor 1>HIV? Don't you mean AIDS? <v AIDS Theatre Actor 2>No. HIV stands for human immunodeficiency <v AIDS Theatre Actor 2>virus and this is virus which infects the body. <v AIDS Theatre Actor 2>This infection may but does not always create a condition which is commonly <v AIDS Theatre Actor 2>known as AIDS Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.
<v AIDS Theatre Actor 1>Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. <v AIDS Theatre Actor 1>What does that mean? <v AIDS Theatre Actor 2>What it basically means is a condition in which the body's natural ability to fight <v AIDS Theatre Actor 2>off infection. <v AIDS Theatre Actor 1>Oh! The immune system. <v AIDS Theatre Actor 2>Well aren't you just teachers pet. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Well, joining us to discuss Chicago area AIDS education programs are Andrew Boxer, <v Dr. Bruce Dan>project director for Michael Reese Hospital's AIDS education program, and Lavern <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Gill, a sexual abstinence educator with the Southwest Parents Committee <v Dr. Bruce Dan>and Dwight Seals, project director of the Westside AIDS Education Intervention Network. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Let me ask you, Dr. Boxer, let me ask you first, though. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>We heard about mixed messages. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Are we really giving children mixed messages, telling about abstinence, wait till <v Dr. Bruce Dan>marriage, but use a condom? <v Andrew Boxer>I think we found in our program that most kids in fifth and sixth grade have some <v Andrew Boxer>basic ideas about AIDS, about sex and about condoms. <v Andrew Boxer>But these ideas, we've discovered are pretty distorted and inaccurate. <v Andrew Boxer>So I think we believe that it's important to talk to kids about all the ways in
<v Andrew Boxer>which they can prevent HIV infection, including condoms. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Miss Gill, your your group talks about abstinence. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>It's very important that we watch that tape, which is very evocative, but fifth <v Dr. Bruce Dan>graders, these are prepubescent young boys and girls when they get to be 16 and 17 later <v Dr. Bruce Dan>on, do they remember these messages or do their peer pressure and natural urges take <v Dr. Bruce Dan>over? <v Lavern Gill>I think they do remember the messages later on, even though they are affected by it. <v Lavern Gill>You know, peer pressure, but they do remember the messages that we've given them. <v Lavern Gill>But they're not quick to follow what we've been talking about. <v Lavern Gill>But they do remember what we've talked about. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Now, you know, Chicago has a very high rate of teenage pregnancy, <v Dr. Bruce Dan>sexually transmitted diseases. I mean, one of the highest in the country. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>So obviously, these children who are getting pregnant are getting sexually transmitted <v Dr. Bruce Dan>diseases, are not having protected sex and certainly aren't abstaining. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>But clearly, they're having sex. Do you think the abstinence message will really work <v Dr. Bruce Dan>with teenagers? <v Lavern Gill>Well, yes, I do think it really work. <v Lavern Gill>That's not going to work with a large number of teenagers.
<v Lavern Gill>I don't think, because a lot of them are into having sex. <v Lavern Gill>They're very sexually active. A lot of them it won't work with, but we're hoping that if <v Lavern Gill>we could reach maybe one, that will help because we figure out that maybe <v Lavern Gill>some of those will influence others with positive peer pressure. <v Lavern Gill>And basically we see that it's affecting more of them. <v Lavern Gill>Maybe sixth and seventh. We start from sixth grade and sixth, seventh and eighth grades. <v Lavern Gill>And we see that it's being more influential with the sixth and seventh grade. <v Lavern Gill>Not so much with the eighth graders. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Mr. Seals, the Afro-American community has been hard hit by AIDS. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>It's one of the communities. It's the highest risk. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>What do we need to do to stop that? <v Dwight Seals>Well, I think we need to recognize firsthand that um there are a lot of cultural <v Dwight Seals>issues that come into play <v Dwight Seals>in terms of sexuality in the black community and that <v Dwight Seals>we need to we need to recognize it. <v Dwight Seals>We need to try innovative and different kinds of strategies to address that issue.
<v Dwight Seals>We need to change the way we educate special populations. <v Dwight Seals>We need to realize that culturally sensitive kinds <v Dwight Seals>of materials should be utilized. <v Dwight Seals>We need to recognize historical kinds of things that are in play in the black community. <v Dwight Seals>And we need to address those and we need to change those. <v Dwight Seals>We need to think real clearly about how it's affecting us <v Dwight Seals>disproportionately and how the black church must begin to take some responsibility <v Dwight Seals>for taking some efforts and helping us do that. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Yes, ma'am. You had a question for the panel. <v Speaker>Yes. Um do you think is more advisable for parents or teachers to educate <v Speaker>younger children about AIDS? For Ms. Gill. <v Lavern Gill>I think we need the cooperation of both parents and teachers. <v Lavern Gill>And a lot of times we have students that have not been talked to by their parents, and <v Lavern Gill>we're giving them their first, you know, instruction in sex education or in abstinence. <v Lavern Gill>And we feel like if we have the parents to get involved and maybe reinforce that at home, <v Lavern Gill>we will have better success in our program. In our program we do invite parents
<v Lavern Gill>to come to our sessions that we have. <v Lavern Gill>We do two sessions and they are invited. <v Lavern Gill>But so far we haven't had a lot of parent participation. <v Speaker>This is Brother Don Hood, who's in the Archdiocese of Chicago. <v Speaker>Let me ask you, from the Catholic point of view, we're trying to teach kids about sex. <v Speaker>But what about the whole issue of teaching kids about protected sex and safe sex? <v Brother Don Hood>In our curriculum as we know from the teachings of the church, <v Brother Don Hood>condoms or contraceptives and contraceptives imply <v Brother Don Hood>intercourse outside of marriage. <v Brother Don Hood>Therefore, we do not teach con-the use of safe <v Brother Don Hood>sex. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>But what happens, you know, obviously Catholics are teenagers, just like anybody else. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Um, are they getting the message any more than anyone else that se-abstinence is the way <v Dr. Bruce Dan>to go? <v Brother Don Hood>They're obviously the main message is abstinence and consistent all <v Brother Don Hood>the way through. And it's our-AIDS education program is backed <v Brother Don Hood>up by religion class, by uh family life program, by sex
<v Brother Don Hood>education and so on. <v Brother Don Hood>So our AIDS program is not just one program. <v Brother Don Hood>And we believe that all these things are complementing. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Dr. Boxer. Let me ask you, if you teach people all the different things, abstinence, <v Dr. Bruce Dan>protected sex, um which you think they're gonna choose? <v Andrew Boxer>I think that different people will choose different ways. <v Andrew Boxer>But I don't think that there's any evidence that providing information to kids actually <v Andrew Boxer>causes them to engage in sexual behavior. <v Andrew Boxer>I think existing data suggest that if you teach teenagers <v Andrew Boxer>about contraception and about safer sex, that those who are sexually active, <v Andrew Boxer>a larger number of those who are sexually active will use those options. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Let me introduce the panel in case you didn't see you saw some of her work. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>That's Linda Harzi, who guest is the director of the AIDS Theater Educational Theater we <v Dr. Bruce Dan>saw. Do those work? <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Are those helpful? Have you got any response or any data to indicate that when young kids <v Dr. Bruce Dan>see that, that helps them incorporate this knowledge into practicing either safe sex or
<v Dr. Bruce Dan>abstinence? <v Linda Harzi>We have very positive data which shows that the kids who take the pretest <v Linda Harzi>to the whiz quiz before the older kids show um afterwards, <v Linda Harzi>they take the same test and come up with very high scores of understanding <v Linda Harzi>how to prevent AIDS and how to live compassionately in a world where it's a reality. <v Linda Harzi>We find that people are very positive when we educate them. <v Linda Harzi>At the same time, it's entertaining and enlightening them. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Let me bring up a question to the panel that was touched on before, um we talk about <v Dr. Bruce Dan>whether it's better, better for the parents to educate their kids about sex and AIDS or <v Dr. Bruce Dan>should it be done in school or any kind of program. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>But there are a lot of parents out there who don't want their kids exposed to these sort <v Dr. Bruce Dan>of things, whether it be a program with the Chicago schools. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>What do you say to them? <v Dwight Seals>I think education does begin at home. <v Dwight Seals>But unfortunately, some adults have more difficulty talking about sex <v Dwight Seals>than some young people do. And if they can't do that, then there's a void there. <v Dwight Seals>And that that's a kind of void that needs to be filled. <v Dwight Seals>Young people need information. It's best to have some information that no information.
<v Dwight Seals>You should have correct information as well. <v Dwight Seals>That's the parent's responsibility. But unfortunately, parents do fall short some time in <v Dwight Seals>providing that. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>I guess we all do in certain circumstances. Yes, sir. <v Speaker>Uh, yes, we know that today's youth are bombarded with media messages about the <v Speaker>adventureness the adventuresome sex and the exciting sex <v Speaker>and so forth and so on. In the light of all of that media pressure that the youth are <v Speaker>getting bombarded with, whose responsibility is it really to <v Speaker>teach our youngsters about sexuality? <v Lavern Gill>It is the parents responsibility to monitor television watching. <v Lavern Gill>I do that myself as a parent. <v Lavern Gill>And that is one of the problems we're having with our program because they are getting <v Lavern Gill>much more television than they are getting instruction and abstinence or any <v Lavern Gill>other sexually um sexual education <v Lavern Gill>program. So that is a very big problem today. <v Lavern Gill>But that really does have to be dealt with in the home. <v Lavern Gill>And, you know, it's natural that if your child, your teenager, is getting
<v Lavern Gill>a steady diet of violence and sexual activity all the time, quite naturally, <v Lavern Gill>they're going to have those desires and those, you know, needs. <v Lavern Gill>So it's really the responsibility of the parent to try to do something about that. <v Lavern Gill>And when the students come to school, we will have a better chance of trying to reach <v Lavern Gill>them as far as abstinence and other programs. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Here's a young lady you saw before, just a few minutes ago, who's teaching in the <v Dr. Bruce Dan>schools, Felicia Rodriguez, who's with Michael Reese Hospital. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Um, the programs you're doing, uh they work at school, kids are there, but when they go <v Dr. Bruce Dan>home do the kids go and talk to the parents about what they saw? <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Do parents come back and talk to you? <v Felicia Rodriguez>Well, I certainly encourage them to go home and talk about this with their parents. <v Felicia Rodriguez>And uh you absolutely should keep in mind, we're we're talking <v Felicia Rodriguez>about and emphasizing here the difficulty that parents have talking about sex. <v Felicia Rodriguez>And this is threefold, the program that we're presenting here, educate teachers, <v Felicia Rodriguez>educate parents, educate kids. <v Felicia Rodriguez>There is no way on the face of this earth should you leave out the parents.
<v Felicia Rodriguez>Um, but we must work together with them. <v Felicia Rodriguez>And I use this as an avenue um encourage. <v Felicia Rodriguez>Absolutely. Kids, go home and teach your parents if you can. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>You know, we talk a lot about age, education. But I guess this first time you talk about <v Dr. Bruce Dan>sex education probably shouldn't be about AIDS. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Clearly, uh you should be talkin' about sex education before you bring up the subject. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>How do you go about doing that? <v Dwight Seals>Well, uh panelists and uh we were talking earlier about that, about, <v Dwight Seals>you know, sometimes it could be traumatic in a young person's life to initially discuss <v Dwight Seals>with them AIDS as it relates to sex. <v Dwight Seals>Because young people, some young people have a hard time conceptualizing <v Dwight Seals>sex as it relates to AIDS and particularly younger people. <v Dwight Seals>So your first foray into talking about sex, your first <v Dwight Seals>and your initial step toward doing that in my mind can <v Dwight Seals>be counterproductive if they don't really understand what that's all about. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Well, we certainly know what our panelists thinks about. Think about educating children
<v Dr. Bruce Dan>in school. But now let's hear the opinions of some listeners at WVON Talk <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Radio. <v Drake Collier>The questions that we're posing on this issue is age 10, 11 or 12, grades <v Drake Collier>fifth, sixth and uh fourth, fifth and sixth, I should say. <v Drake Collier>Is that just too early to be telling young people about AIDS? <v Drake Collier>And if we teach children about AIDS education, are we somehow encouraging <v Drake Collier>sexuality and discouraging abstinence? <v Drake Collier>5 9 1 5 9 9 0 Let's go to our telephone. <v Drake Collier>Queen is on the line. <v Queen>I think we've got some smart kids. We underestimate them. <v Queen>I think they should be armed with all the information they need to survive in this <v Queen>crazy world. <v Drake Collier>Michael, good morning. <v Michael>Hi. You know, it seems to me that since 3/4th excuse me, one <v Michael>half of the new AIDS cases here in Chicago are black women with children, <v Michael>obviously, the adults have not either learned to take the precautions or have <v Michael>not felt that they were important enough. <v Michael>And I don't understand how people can actually get on the television and get
<v Michael>on the telephone and actually state that they're opposed to it, because more reasons <v Michael>because I mean, if our morality was already intact, we wouldn't have a high <v Michael>frequency of incidence here within our community. <v Michael>I'm tired of hearing ignorance. It's about time for for our community to take a <v Michael>progressive stand concerning any virus that threatens to exterminate us. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Well, we hope we've given you a chance to at least think about educating your children <v Dr. Bruce Dan>regarding this sensitive but critical subject. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>There are so many questions that remain unanswered. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Research is being updated on a daily basis, and we've invited several doctors and experts <v Dr. Bruce Dan>on AIDS research to give us a briefing on what's happening today. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>We also thought that they might answer some questions that children commonly ask about <v Dr. Bruce Dan>AIDS and how parents can answer them. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Now our first guest is Dr. Elizabeth Gath, associate director of Cook County Hospital's <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Women and Children with AIDS Program and director of pediatric AIDS clinical trials. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>And Dr. Daniel Johnson. He's the director of Special Infections and Children Clinic
<v Dr. Bruce Dan>at Weyler Children's Hospital. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>And Dr. Madeline Shalowitz, who we met before, is a behavioral and developmental <v Dr. Bruce Dan>pediatrician at Lauler a-beta Children's Hospital. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>And again, Dr. Horace Smith, a specialist in hematology and oncology at Children's <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Memorial Hospital. <v Speaker>Well, I was wondering, in terms of high school students, are there any numbers which <v Speaker>suggest what types of ways that AIDS is being spread among among <v Speaker>the students? Are there any breakdowns? <v Speaker>Is it. Is it uh sexual contact? <v Speaker>Is it drug use or anything of that nature that we could use to show <v Speaker>them that normal people get AIDS, too? <v Dr. Elizabath Gath>The breakdown is according to age, that if in children <v Dr. Elizabath Gath>who in adolescents who are, say, 13 or 14 years of age, the greater <v Dr. Elizabath Gath>number of those adolescents have acquired the illness through the <v Dr. Elizabath Gath>transfusion of blood or blood products. These are primarily hemophiliac <v Dr. Elizabath Gath>adolescents. If the child or the adolescent is 15 or 16,
<v Dr. Elizabath Gath>then the breakdown swerves a little bit more to sexually acquired. <v Dr. Elizabath Gath>But it's still more or less a 50/50 breakdown between transfusion and sexually acquired <v Dr. Elizabath Gath>and I.V. drug use is something that is a smaller part but <v Dr. Elizabath Gath>present in that age group as well. <v Dr. Elizabath Gath>When you get to 17 and 18 year olds, sexually <v Dr. Elizabath Gath>transmitted sexual sexual transmission is a clear uh <v Dr. Elizabath Gath>clearly the dominating way that adolescents pick up this illness. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Dr. Shalowitz, we've talked a lot about sex, but we haven't really talked a lot about <v Dr. Bruce Dan>drugs. For older kids, sex may be a real issue, but I guess for even the very youngest <v Dr. Bruce Dan>kids, drugs are issue because they see it in their school. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>They see their older siblings and other people using them. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>What should we be telling our very young kids about drugs, if anything at all? <v Dr. Madeleine Shalowitz>Well, first, I think I need to disagree with you. <v Dr. Madeleine Shalowitz>Yes, drugs are an important issue for 10 and 11 year olds, but so is sex. <v Dr. Madeleine Shalowitz>And they're thinking about it a lot. <v Dr. Madeleine Shalowitz>Um, we really haven't talked at all about the community in which all of this is
<v Dr. Madeleine Shalowitz>occurring. We've said that blacks and Hispanics have a greater incidence of AIDS, but we <v Dr. Madeleine Shalowitz>haven't said that these fifth and sixth graders that we're targeting, the 10 and 11 year <v Dr. Madeleine Shalowitz>olds, may have 22 year old mothers who have already several children. <v Dr. Madeleine Shalowitz>And can we really target educating the child when the parent is <v Dr. Madeleine Shalowitz>taking the same risks that the child is? <v Dr. Madeleine Shalowitz>Can we approach an educational problem just at the children or do we really need to use a <v Dr. Madeleine Shalowitz>family centered approach? <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Dr. Smith, that may be a very important problem, the black community, when the younger <v Dr. Bruce Dan>kids are watching their older brothers and sisters either taking drugs, having <v Dr. Bruce Dan>children out of wedlock. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>How do you get to a young child who's surrounded on a day to day basis, whether it be <v Dr. Bruce Dan>black, Hispanic or white with peer pressure that shows them there's another lifestyle <v Dr. Bruce Dan>than one that's not being taught? <v Dr. Horace Smith>Well, again, I think the aim there is a try to make sure these children have good <v Dr. Horace Smith>exposure to positive role models. <v Dr. Horace Smith>You mentioned earlier the church, which is one institution. <v Dr. Horace Smith>There are other avenues whereby we can again influence young children with many, many
<v Dr. Horace Smith>positive role models and hopefully will make a difference in their choices. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>We have a question up here. Yes, ma'am. <v Speaker>Um this to anyone of y'all. Among which age group do you think the AIDS virus is <v Speaker>spreading more rapidly? <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Good question, I don't know if I know the answer to that. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Where is the highest incidence right now? <v Dr. Daniel Johnson>Well, I think that we could say, based on the fact that almost 25 <v Dr. Daniel Johnson>percent of the new cases of HIV are occurring, or rather <v Dr. Daniel Johnson>that 25 percent of the current cases of HIV occur in individuals from the age of 20 <v Dr. Daniel Johnson>and 29, that teenagers are a group of individuals <v Dr. Daniel Johnson>who are acquiring the virus quite rapidly since there is an incubation period <v Dr. Daniel Johnson>before someone becomes symptomatic. <v Dr. Daniel Johnson>The assumption has to be that those individuals acquire the virus during their teenage <v Dr. Daniel Johnson>years. The other group that has to be emphasized is the newborn. <v Dr. Daniel Johnson>Since women are an increasing uh group of individuals <v Dr. Daniel Johnson>who are acquiring the virus. And there is passage of the virus to the newborn
<v Dr. Daniel Johnson>during pregnancy or during delivery. <v Dr. Daniel Johnson>That's another group of individuals who are rapidly acquiring the virus. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Yes, ma'am. <v Speaker>My questions for Dr. Johnson on the panel. <v Speaker>My son's 11 years old and he's in a sixth grade class in a public school. <v Speaker>And I know that our school nurse on a daily basis sees a lot of blood in her office. <v Speaker>And this is from accidents, trauma, injuries, sports, bloody noses, et cetera. <v Speaker>My question is, what is the chance of a child getting the virus from an <v Speaker>HIV positive child on the school playground? <v Speaker>Thank you. <v Dr. Daniel Johnson>The risk of transmission in that situation is almost nil. <v Dr. Daniel Johnson>It really is quite small and can be brought to zero by <v Dr. Daniel Johnson>educating your own child about some of the steps that can be taken to <v Dr. Daniel Johnson>prevent even that very small risk of transmission in that setting. <v Dr. Daniel Johnson>Specifically that they should wash if they come into contact with blood, <v Dr. Daniel Johnson>that if they see blood on the playground area,
<v Dr. Daniel Johnson>that they should try and steer clear of it, that they should, of course, contact <v Dr. Daniel Johnson>someone who is in charge of the playground supervision so that way it can be cleaned up <v Dr. Daniel Johnson>appropriately using bleach and through the use of gloves. <v Dr. Daniel Johnson>It's impossible to tell by looking at someone whether they're HIV infected or not. <v Dr. Daniel Johnson>In terms of rushing to help someone in that kind of situation, again, common <v Dr. Daniel Johnson>sense should be what should take place. <v Dr. Daniel Johnson>And that is that they should be careful in terms <v Dr. Daniel Johnson>of not exposing open parts of their body to the blood <v Dr. Daniel Johnson>and then washing their hands after contact so as to prevent <v Dr. Daniel Johnson>spread. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Dr. Gath, I guess that was probably a question that's more addressed to adults. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Children wouldn't ask that question. A lot of problems we've had are not the children <v Dr. Bruce Dan>aren't willing to accept a lot of things that adults have a hard time accepting I guess <v Dr. Bruce Dan>scientific fact, when confronted with a lot of prejudice or fears, healthy fears. <v Dr. Elizabath Gath>That's very true and the fears are what keep us from acknowledging
<v Dr. Elizabath Gath>that this problem actually exists. <v Dr. Elizabath Gath>In fact, in terms of children biting other children, there was a recent <v Dr. Elizabath Gath>study that of children who were infected with the virus actually did <v Dr. Elizabath Gath>bite some household contacts and there was zero transmission. <v Speaker>If you were tested positive for the AIDS virus. <v Speaker>What is the probability that you can catch AIDS and how long before you even <v Speaker>know? <v Dr. Elizabath Gath>From what we know from the San Francisco cohort study, that after eleven years, <v Dr. Elizabath Gath>only 50 percent of the men who were infected with the virus <v Dr. Elizabath Gath>developed any symptoms after 11 years. <v Dr. Elizabath Gath>So how long can one remain asymptomatic? <v Dr. Elizabath Gath>No one really has studied it that long. <v Dr. Elizabath Gath>The disease has only been acknowledged in the society since 1980. <v Dr. Elizabath Gath>So we're 11 years into this epidemic and people are <v Dr. Elizabath Gath>here that are infected that you cannot tell by looking at a person. <v Dr. Elizabath Gath>And it does take many years, there are many years of no symptoms whatsoever.
<v Speaker>It has been suggested that condoms be used for sex, safe sex <v Speaker>and to prevent AIDS. I'm wondering what the effectiveness of condoms really is. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Do we know that? Do we have good data on that? <v Dr. Daniel Johnson>Well, we don't have definitive data on that. <v Dr. Daniel Johnson>It's not an easy study to perform. <v Dr. Daniel Johnson>And so that what we have is, is information more based <v Dr. Daniel Johnson>on laboratory situations <v Dr. Daniel Johnson>to try and look at the ability of the condom to prevent passage <v Dr. Daniel Johnson>of the virus. We know that when you couple the use of a condom <v Dr. Daniel Johnson>with spermacidal foam, that it is a very effective <v Dr. Daniel Johnson>barrier and probably approaches a 90 to 95 percent <v Dr. Daniel Johnson>effectiveness. But in terms of knowing that <v Dr. Daniel Johnson>in the community, the answer is we don't know that for sure. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Let me ask you a question, if I could.
<v Dr. Bruce Dan>What do we need to do in the next five years to do better than we have in the last five? <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Some people suggested telling all college students that don't have sex with anybody <v Dr. Bruce Dan>younger than you are. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>In other words, don't transmit the virus down to younger people. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Maybe in five or 10 years from now, we'll have a whole group of people who are now <v Dr. Bruce Dan>uninfected. I don't think that strategy is going to work. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>But what do we need to do? We've told people about safe sex. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>We've told 'em about abstinence, but the epidemic keeps climbing. <v Dr. Madeleine Shalowitz>What you really have to talk about when you give people information, what makes <v Dr. Madeleine Shalowitz>them want to do something with the information? <v Dr. Madeleine Shalowitz>Because our data on adolescents tells us that most of them know about AIDS. <v Dr. Madeleine Shalowitz>Most of them also know that it's transmitted sexually and <v Dr. Madeleine Shalowitz>still they don't take any efforts to protect themselves against it. <v Dr. Madeleine Shalowitz>So what is it that makes a population, whether it's adolescents or otherwise, want to <v Dr. Madeleine Shalowitz>use that information? <v Dr. Madeleine Shalowitz>How how do we make kids feel good enough about themselves that they don't <v Dr. Madeleine Shalowitz>want to take the risk? And how do we teach them that that that risk
<v Dr. Madeleine Shalowitz>taking behavior is going to have long term consequences when developmentally <v Dr. Madeleine Shalowitz>they really think they're invulnerable? <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Let me ask a question to the entire panel or anyone who wants to answer it, nowadays with <v Dr. Bruce Dan>new drugs, better drugs, that people with AIDS and HIV infection are living longer <v Dr. Bruce Dan>than they did five or 10 years ago. Some people say we may be may have people live 10 or <v Dr. Bruce Dan>12, 15, 20 years with this infection still be able to infect other people. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Is that going to change the way we deal with society when we have maybe 20 years from now <v Dr. Bruce Dan>a large group of people in society, a million people who are infected with this <v Dr. Bruce Dan>potentially lethal virus? <v Dr. Elizabath Gath>I think what's important to recognize that what we have done thus far <v Dr. Elizabath Gath>in our personal lives, in our professional lives, in our most intimate sexual <v Dr. Elizabath Gath>lives, has not been sufficient in 10, 11 years of this epidemic to <v Dr. Elizabath Gath>stop it or even to slow it down. <v Dr. Elizabath Gath>I think the other thing that's very important to recognize is that HIV is not <v Dr. Elizabath Gath>simply a disease, but is also a reflection of the problems of society.
<v Dr. Elizabath Gath>It is a symptom of poverty. <v Dr. Elizabath Gath>It is a symptom of lack of education. <v Dr. Elizabath Gath>It is a symptom of the perinatal morbidity that we see here in this <v Dr. Elizabath Gath>in this city. It is a symptom of uh overall <v Dr. Elizabath Gath>not caring for us as individuals. <v Dr. Elizabath Gath>And that what we need to do is to consolidate services to every <v Dr. Elizabath Gath>person, that health care is a right and it is not just a privilege <v Dr. Elizabath Gath>for people. And so, yes, we do have to change our mindset. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Well, want I want to thank our panel and I thank our audience for being with us. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>And I want to tell you that it's imperative in today's society to make sure that our <v Dr. Bruce Dan>children are being educated about this disease. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>At the end of this program will list additional information. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>But please remember, if we don't teach our children about AIDS, they may find out about <v Dr. Bruce Dan>it the hard way. [music] [Song: Protect Yourself performed by AIDS Educational Theater]
WTTW Journal
Protect Yourself: Teaching Your Children About AIDS
Producing Organization
WTTW (Television station : Chicago, Ill.)
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The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
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Episode Description
This is Protect Yourself: Teaching Your Children About AIDS, an episode of WTTW Journal. Some segments are prerecorded and some are filmed before a live audience. Dr. Bruce Dan hosts the program. Begins with footage of children talking about what they know about AIDS. Includes interviews with AIDS activist Michael D. Thurnherr; "Valerie," an 18-year-old pregnant HIV patient; Aida Giachello, Ph.D., of the Midwest Hispanic AIDS Coalition; AIDS activist Novella Dudley; Felicia Rodriguez, Michael Reese Health Educator, who works with Black and Hispanic 5th and 6th graders; Andrew Boxer, Ph.D., Michael Reese Project Director; Beverly Johnson Biehr, coordinator of family life education for Chicago Public Schools. Dr. Dan is joined in the studio for a panel discussion by Novella Dudley; Dr. Madeleine Shalowitz, a behavioral and developmental pediatrician at La Rabida Children's Hospital; Dr. Horace E. Smith, a specialist in hematology and oncology at Children's Memorial Hospital; and Christina Lewis, a spokesperson with the National Association of People with AIDS. Audience member Rom'n Buenrostro from the Chicago Hispanic Health Alliance also speaks. Schoolchildren Latesha McCoy and Jenny Nambo talk about what Felicia Rodriguez taught them. Dr. Dan shows a video of one of Rodriguez's classroom presentations, which includes child actors in role-play situations and songs by AIDS Educational Theatre. Footage of Southwest Parents' Committee meeting and educator Dr. Ana Mangiano teaching a lesson and interview with Dr. Marcella Meyer, chairman of the Southwest Parents Committee. Schoolchildren Karen Flores, Jimmy Guzman, Jesus Esquivel talk about what they learned from Dr. Mangiano. Dr. Dan is joined by a new panel to discuss Chicago area AIDS education programs: Andrew Boxer, project director for Michael Reese Hospital's AIDS education program; Laverne Gill, a sexual abstinence educator with the Southwest Parents Committee; and Dwight Seals, project director of the Westside AIDS Education Intervention Network. Brother Don Hood from the Archdiocese of Chicago speaks as an audience member about AIDS prevention and the Catholic Church. Linda Hazi, director of AIDS Educational Theatre also speaks from the audience. Also includes footage of radio host Drake Collier in the studio at WVON talk radio taking calls from listeners on the topic of AIDS and sex education. A third panel comprising Dr. Elizabeth Gath, associate director of Cook County Hospital's Women and Children with AIDS Program and director of pediatric AIDS clinical trials; Dr. Daniel Johnson, director of Special Infections in Children Clinic at Wyler Children's Hospital, along with Dr. Madeleine Shalowitz and Dr. Horace Smith, from an earlier panel, discusses AIDS research the questions children commonly ask about AIDS.
Series Description
"CHICAGO MATTERS, a three-year-long project exploring issues of concern to the community, focused on children in 1991. A unique mixture of programming examines some of the [problems] facing children today and offered viable solutions. "Included in this series are PROTECT YOURSELF: TEACHING YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT AIDS, which addresses one of the leading threats to our youth and promotes prevention through education; WHAT'S OUT THER FOR J.R', which explores the state of the social service networks that provide help to youths in crisis; the CHICAGO MATTERS TOWN MEETING examines the community support systems available to children, bringing together city officials, park district representatives, parents, children and child development experts in a live 'town meeting' setting."--1991 Peabody Awards entry form.
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Producing Organization: WTTW (Television station : Chicago, Ill.)
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The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia
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Chicago: “WTTW Journal; Protect Yourself: Teaching Your Children About AIDS,” 1991, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 26, 2022,
MLA: “WTTW Journal; Protect Yourself: Teaching Your Children About AIDS.” 1991. The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 26, 2022. <>.
APA: WTTW Journal; Protect Yourself: Teaching Your Children About AIDS. Boston, MA: The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from