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Many people (not just kids, but adults, too) don't understand how HIV and AIDS are related, even though they hear these two words used together all the time. HIV stands for humanimmunodeficiency (say: im-yuh-noh-di-fish-un-see) virus. AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. HIV is actually the virus that causes the disease AIDS. HIV Hurts the Immune System People who are HIV positive have been tested and found to have signs of the human immunodeficiency virus in their blood. HIV destroys part of the immune (say: ih-myoon) system. Specifically, it affects a type of white blood cell called the T lymphocyte (say: lim-foh-site), or T cell. T cells…
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Start "The Talk" Early Today, kids are exposed to so much information about sex and relationships on TV and the Internet that by the time they approach puberty, they may be familiar with some advanced ideas. And yet, talking about the issues of puberty remains an important job for parents because not all of a child's information comes from reliable sources. Don't wait for your child to come to you with questions about his or her changing body — that day may never arrive, especially if your child doesn't know it's OK talk to you about this sensitive topic. Ideally, as a…
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  When should sex education begin for children?   According to some parent groups who advised the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), not until grades 5 and 6. Under this pressure, ACARA pushed back sex education, revising their original guidelines that introduced it at years 3 and 4.   But just as we’ve decided to push back sexual education to later years, the media has been full of discussion about the sexualisation of children, the effects of marketing on children’s body image and concerns about kids’ exposure to pornography.   Yet what the public and media have misunderstood…
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 Beginning a conversation about sex early and continuing that conversation as the child grows is the best sex education strategy. It lets parents avoid giving one big talk when the child reaches adolescence, when it may already be too late. These conversations are easiest when they come out of a life experience, like seeing a pregnant woman or a baby. Here are some tips: 1. Think about how you w‚Äčere taught about sex as a childAsk yourself if you want your child to have the same or a different experience. 2. Give age-appropriate answersThis means explaining things in a way…
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  Answering their kids' questions about sex is a responsibility that many parents dread. Otherwise confident moms and dads often feel tongue-tied and awkward when it comes to talking about puberty and where babies come from. But the subject shouldn't be avoided. Parents can help foster healthy feelings about sex if they answer kids' questions in an age-appropriate way.           1. When do kids start becoming curious about their bodies? From as early as infancy, kids are interested in learning about their own bodies. They notice the differences between boys and girls and are naturally curious.…

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