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Proper Education Through Music for Youth for HIV, AID Prevention

Youths love music whether gospel or secular. It is noted that American young people spend about four to five hours each day watching and listening to music. This is more time than the youths spend in the company of their friends. Music is highly valued by adolescents and older youths hence form an important part of their lives. In addition to their love for music, youths are sometimes known to define their cliques and crowds using their style of music as well as define their mode of dress and act depending on the music artist.

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Youths all over the world are highly vulnerable to the infection of HIV and AIDS. A 2008 report on the epidemic as indicated by the UNAIDS indicated that 45% of the total new HIV infections constituted of youths between the ages of fifteen to twenty-four years. The high risk of infection can be attributed to various factors that include increased risky or unprotected sexual behavior, increased level of drug and substance use especially the use and sharing of injectables, and the myths and misconceptions associated with HIV/AIDS. One such misconception is the belief that there is an HIV and AIDS vaccine and cure. Ignorance can be related to various misconceptions about the infection. (Stroman, Carolyn A., 2005)

The attachment of youths to music and their high level of vulnerability form the basis for the implementation of a prevention strategy that makes use of these two important facts, the use of music to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS.

This strategy may be implemented in various ways some of which include the enticement of existing music artists to write and produce music that spreads the message on HIV and AIDS, encouraging the media to enhance the campaign on the epidemic by playing more educative music to the youths. The government and other non-governmental organizations can also help in promoting the prevention of HIV by sponsoring artists that are willing to use their music to control HIV and AIDS. Explicit music and music videos that promote irresponsible sexual behaviors among the youth should be eradicated or their promotion discouraged mainly by the media as well as the government.

Artists should recognize the huge impact that the message in their music has on youths of all ages. The awareness of this will help them identify their potential role in the reduction of HIV spread through educative music rather than the usual sexually explicit music and music videos.

Schools, churches, and other public youth-based institutions also have a role to play. These institutions should organize HIV/AIDS-oriented events whereby the message on HIV infection is passed to the young adults through music, poems, videos, plays, and other recreational activities. Studies have shown that the involvement of youths and young adolescents in various activities reduces the rate of their sexual activity as their energy is diverted to other activities hence, their involvement in educative art and recreation will not only prevent them from HIV infection but will also prevent the infection of many others taking part as the audience.

The use of music to combat and prevent HIV among the youths is being adopted by various organizations working in various parts of the world as a workable strategy. Cuidate (Take Care of Yourself) a group of Latino youths is for example using cultural methods of intervention to combat HIV. The group is also making use of music, videos, role-plays, and interactive games to impact knowledge on HIV/AIDS and the vulnerability of the youths to the infection, clear the myths, beliefs, and attitudes in relation to HIV and responsible sex, teach and promote the correct and effective use of a condom, promote abstinence and the practice of safe sex. Research performed by Villaruel, A.M. on the success of this youth group produced a number of findings. (Villaruel, A.M., Jemmott, L. B, &Jemmott L.S, 2006).

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One finding was that throughout the three follow-ups done, it was found that the active participants or youth group members recorded fewer chances of sexual intercourse, having more than one sexual partner, and showed fewer instances of unprotected sex compared to the audience youths. Another finding was that the sexually active youths reported consistent condom use. Villaruel also found out that the young sexually inexperienced and inactive adolescent participants reported a very low number of days in the involvement of unprotected sexual behavior. (Villaruel, A.M., Jemmott, L. B, &Jemmott L.S, 2006).

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is also using music to promote healthy behavior patterns among the youths to help in the prevention of HIV/AIDS. The organization that is working with the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) emphasizes interventions that are age-appropriate and friendly to the youth hence their choice for use of music and mass media. The Tsha Tsha South African mass media campaign is one of the beneficiaries of USAID.

An effort to use modern music and artists can also be recognized from the 2002 World AIDS Day in South Africa where a historic concert featuring Alicia Keys, Missy Elliot, and David Mathews was held to promote the awareness of HIV and AIDS. The 90-minute concert was aired globally on MTV. Though no evaluation was done on the impact of this and many other such shows, it’s one positive step to promoting HIV prevention among young people.

The use of music to combat HIV and AIDS is a potential strategy that has not been fully adopted. There is a need for the realization of the huge role music can play in the fight against this epidemic hence campaigns on the promotion of this educative strategy are necessary.

References

Stroman, Carolyn A. (2005). Disseminating HIV/AIDS Information to African Americans. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 16(4), pp. 24:37.

UNAIDS: 2008. Report on global AIDS epidemic. Web.

Villarruel, A. M., Jemmott, J. B., & Jemmott, L. S. (2006). A randomized controlled trial testing an HIV prevention intervention for Latino youth. Archives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine, 160, pp.1-6.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, November 5). Proper Education Through Music for Youth for HIV, AID Prevention. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/proper-education-through-music-for-youth-for-hiv-aid-prevention/

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StudyCorgi. (2021, November 5). Proper Education Through Music for Youth for HIV, AID Prevention. https://studycorgi.com/proper-education-through-music-for-youth-for-hiv-aid-prevention/

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Proper Education Through Music for Youth for HIV, AID Prevention." November 5, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/proper-education-through-music-for-youth-for-hiv-aid-prevention/.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Proper Education Through Music for Youth for HIV, AID Prevention'. 5 November.

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