Posted on July 14, 2017
"Teens today have never known a world where HIV was a certain death sentence. They missed the 'plague years' of AIDS—the confusion, the pop-cultural discussions, the general feeling of hopelessness regarding the disease. This is sometimes referred to as 'historical privilege.' It means that through no fault of their own, teens could be unaware of the enormity of the epidemic—the havoc it wreaked, the damage it is still very much capable of causing.
By 1996, around the time all of today’s teens were born, antiretroviral therapy had been tested and approved by the FDA. It proved to be so effective at extending lives that many have come to regard HIV as a manageable chronic condition. That view is simplistic: it ignores the several systemic and cultural barriers for populations hit hardest by HIV (like trans women, black women, and black MSM—men who have sex with men—particularly in the South). But despite (and in some cases, because of) teens’ lack of experience with the worst effects of the AIDS crisis, they remain an at-risk group."