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HIV in Russia v. SC

Posted by Ryan Morgan on November 27, 2013 at 2:08 PM
By: Brigitte Shumpert Recently I caught myself asking, "How effective is sex education?" When first volunteering at Tell Them, I questioned why exactly money was funding a program to help create a standard for sexual education in South Carolina. A few weeks ago, while writing a research paper on this topic, I found out. Part of my research paper included the HIV ratings of South Carolina. South Carolina stands as the 8th highest HIV rate in the United States, but we have nothing on Russia. According to Diana Bruk, "Between 2001 and 2009, HIV infection rates have dropped everywhere on the planet (including sub-Saharan Africa, the world’s most famous AIDS hotspot) by 25 percent, but they’ve increased dramatically in Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia." This was shocking to me. Who knew that a great nation in the world had such a problem? The Russian government is giving $3 million dollars to help treat this issue when $70 million dollars are needed to help treat these people. If 80 % of the HIV infected people in Russia are under the age of 30, I wonder how long a large nations will remain so powerful? It's not my job to speculate what can happen to Russia, but I do know that I don't want to have the national title of 8th highest HIV rate for South Carolina. Through the programs in Tell Them we are addressing our issues and we are working to better our state. Spending money to stop the spreading of HIV is worth it. If one person's life is changed, then it is worth it. I no longer question why programs such as Tell Them are important. I now hope that South Carolina can be an example to other countries like Russia and show them how to better their own communities. Brigitte is a Junior at the University of South Carolina majoring in Civil and Environmental Engineering.  She is volunteering at Tell Them through a service-learning class.

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