02 December 2015
An awareness walk last night from Aquamoves to KidsTown marked World AIDS Day in the Shepparton district.
Kildonan UnitingCare's Diversity Project community development worker Damien Stevens who visits schools to deliver inclusive sexuality education sessions and healthy relationships information, said teenagers did not even consider HIV an issue any longer.
While he is pleased the 1980s awareness campaign which included the Grim Reaper television advertisement are a thing of the past, he says there is not enough media about HIV today.
He said today's youth tended t have an attitude of: "If something happens I'll get surgery to fix it or have a pill to fix it" instead of focusing on prevention measures.
Mr Stevens said young people tended to think condoms protected against pregnancy rather than associating them with the prevention of sexually transmitted infections.
Mr Stevens said while medical advances had improved greatly over the decades, and AIDS was almost obsolete, caution and awareness were important.
"There are many new infections appearing among our younger generation," he said.
He said HIV was no longer a death sentence and many people who had it lived to a "ripe old age".
Last year in Australia, there were 27,150 people living with HIV.