Kids who weren't even born when AIDS was an epidemic that ravaged the American gay and IV drug-using communities are apparently oblivious to the potential toll it can take on its generation. New York City's Dept. of Health reported that the number of HIV infections among city high schoolers (between the ages of 13 and 19) rose 29% between 2004 and 2006. Current figures are not yet available, but Rep. Anthony Weiner is proposing a program to curb the spread of the virus.
Wiener's proposal includes increasing funding for needle exchange programs, health education, and linking HIV education with substance abuse programs. The availability of drug cocktails that have dramatically reduced the mortality rate of HIV-infected people in the first world has led to a sense of complacency about preventing infection, especially among younger people unfamiliar with the plague-like effect it had on communities in the late 20th century.