Teens at Highest Risk of Getting HIV

By Camaron Abundes
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND-  Whether you think your teen is having sex or not, you may be shocked to learn teens and young adults 13-24 are the group most at risk for contracting HIV, in the basin.

Anita Montanez, the regional HIV Consultant for the local branch of the Texas Department of Health Services, started putting STD pamphlets into discrete paper bags to address the stigma, she says, kept many including teens from taking the vital information.

"I see the numbers so I know they are having sex," she says, "If I still had a thirteen year old, I would be scared."

Montanez says many people don't know or see symptoms until they have full blown AIDS.

"A lot of these cases are being determined that they were infected when they were teenagers," she said.

She says teens need to be taught to use condoms not to encourage kids to have sex but to teach them what options are out there.

"Once you're at risk for STD's you are also at risk for HIV," Montanez says Chlamydia and other STD's are on the rise.

"I think that if they love their kids they would want to get educated so they could talk to them," she said, "It's a horrible death when somebody is positive."