DCSS summit addresses HIV/AIDS prevention for youth

DCSS held an HIV/AIDS Summit to educate community members on keeping students from obtaining the diseases

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nationwide there are more than 2,000 children under the age of 19 were diagnosed with HIV.

The Dougherty County School System held a summit on Friday to become educated on the topic in hopes of keeping students from getting HIV and AIDS. Teachers, parents, social workers and counselors attended the HIV/AIDS summit.

"It's important for the educators to know what to look for, what the side effects are and what the different areas are that help them identify kids that are going through areas of HIV with education and things of that nature," says Debera Ayers, Certified Preventionist at the Morehouse School of Medicine.

Professionals discussed how substance abuse and cultural trends can eventually lead to promiscuity and possibly HIV/ AIDS. Marc Fomby from FTC Prevention Services says songs from today are encouraging promiscuity, substance abuse and objectifying women, all with lingo that some parents don't understand.

One example given at Friday's summit was "Blame It on the Alcohol" by Jamie Foxx.

"'I'll keep filling up your cup while I feeling on your butt and you don't even care that I was unaware of how fine you were before my buzz set in,' suggests 'I'm the one that has to get drunk to go home with you, in other words you don't care that I thought you were ugly before you got drunk,'" says Fomby.

He says there are songs from all genres with highly sexual undertones and discuss substance abuse, and the new lingo makes it difficult for parents to understand the songs their kids are listening to.

Educators are trying to stay on top of youth trends like this to prevent children from hurting their future.

"When they come to school they are expecting us, both the students and the parents, to redirect those bad behaviors but we cannot do that unless we can educate them on the dangers of some of the bad things they are doing," says Barbara Turner, Coordinator for Student Support Services.

Professionals at the summit say we need to pay attention â" kids understand the trends and lingo, and parents and educators should too.