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Botswana Alcohol Aids Project

GET HIGH, GET STUPID, GET AIDS

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Tips for Teens About
How Getting High Can Get You AIDS

Adapted from a booklet by The National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information
A service of SAMHSA

How Getting High Can Get You AIDS

Getting High Makes You Forget.
Being a teen is exciting. Being a teen in a world with alcohol, other drugs, sex, and AIDS, is hard.
You might not know all the ways alcohol, drugs and AIDS are connected.

This passout will help you understand the dangers and how to avoid them. Drugs, like alcohol, marijuana (dagga), and cocaine can cloud your judgment, make it hard to know right from wrong, distract you from reality.

Alcohol & Drugs Make You Forget What's Important... so you care less about yourself or your friends, because, you just don't care.

You Forget You're Only Human.
When you get high you may mistakenly believe nothing bad could happen to you.

Alcohol & Drugs Can Make You Do Things You May Wish You Never Did, Like:
* act reckless and foolish
* get romantic with someone you don't really like
* have sex without planning
* have sex without thinking of the consequences
* forget to use a condom or forget to have your partner use a condom.

When Drinking or Drugs Make You Forget, You May Take Risks, Like Having Sex, especially unprotected sex.

Teen years are a time of making all kinds of new decisions. One of those decisions is when to have sex. Equally important is with whom are you having sex? It's important to make that decision with a clear head because sex today is far riskier than ever before. Drugs, like alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine can get in the way of making clear decisions.

Why Is Sex Risky? It Can Lead to AIDS.

Unprotected sex with an infected partner is the most common way HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is spread in Botswana. Another way is sharing needles to inject drugs.

Your sex partner may have had sex with someone who is an HIV infected person. In reality, you are having sex with every person your current partner ever had sex with - and your partner is having sex with everyone you ever had sex with.
The more sex partners you have, the more chance you have of getting AIDS.
Three sure ways to avoid the AIDS virus are: not having sex at all, or being faithful to one safe partner and always using a condom.
If you choose to have sex, always using a condom to will greatly help reduce the risk of your getting AIDS or spreading it to your innocent sex partner.

Make Your Decision About Sex With a Clear Head, Without Drugs.

Sometimes you can feel pressured to have sex when you may not want to, and alcohol or other drugs make it harder to say no. Pressure about sex can be hard to deal with -- it can come from your boyfriend or girlfriend, from the crowd you hang out with, or even from your own feelings.
The first thing to remember is you're charge of your body and what you choose to do with it.
The second thing to remember is there is a lot at stake -- a decision about sex can have consequences that last a lifetime - a shortened lifetime if you make the wrong decision.

It helps to Make a Plan and Stick to it. Then if someone offers you a drink or drugs or suggests sex, you'll know what to do. Plan not to drink or use drugs so you can keep a clear head. Plan how to say no, to be careful, and to think about what to do. The time to make your plan is when you have a clear head. It is important that you understand that as few as two drinks will begin to reduce your ability to realize that you are making a mistake, that you have made a bad decision. Alcohol is a drug, it alters the way you think.

Making Your Plan.
Think about who you are and what's important to you, think about how drinking and using drugs and having unsafe sex could affect that. When you have a plan it's easier to handle situations where you want to have fun with friends but don't want to use drugs or have sex. If someone pressures you about drinking or drugs you can say nicely but firmly, "I'm not interested," or, "I don't drink or use drugs."

If someone pressures you about sex you could let them know where you stand by saying: "I'm not ready for it yet," or, "Maybe it feels right for you, but it's not for me."

It's a Fact.
Teens that normally use condoms during sex tend to use them less if they've been drinking or smoking dope.
More than 50 percent of the people who have AIDS are age 25-29. Since it can take up to 10 years or more for symptoms to start, many got infected in their teens.
The number of reported AIDS cases among Botswana teenagers increased 100% between 1992 and 1995. 2003 statistics reveal that the prevalence rate among those age 15-19 is 22.8%. The prevelance rate for those age 20-24 is 38.6%

You May Already Know This But...
YOU CANNOT GET AIDS from hugging, holding hands, mosquitoes or bugs.
YOU CAN GET AIDS from unprotected sexual contact. This is the primary way AIDS is spread in Botswana.
HIV is the human immunodeficiency virus that causes AIDS.
You cannot tell someone has the HIV virus by looking at them or by how nice they act. A blood test is the only way to be sure.
AIDS is a fatal illness however, getting tested and getting on ARVs will assist you in living an almost normal lifespan.

GET HIGH, GET STUPID, GET AIDS.
Drinking and Drugging will make you forget important things about your behavior and if you forget how risky sex can be, you can catch the AIDS virus and, without getting tested, not know it for months, even years.

Pot/Dagga - Harmful Effects

Rapid Assessment Results

Alcohol's Harmful Effects

Copyright 2004, Botswana Alcohol Aids Project - Jim MacDonald Webmaster. Contact Jim at djm@paonline.com