The Aids epidemics that does not seem to regress in Africa has a catastrophic impact on children, adolescents and adults. The consequences of such a situation are sanitary, economic and demographic. The adolescents, who are more than a billion in the world, are very concerned, particularly in Africa where only very few of them go to school and who for many of them either remain in the streets and/or prostitute themselves. Anti-Aids committees have been organized among school children and teachers, information and education in terms of prevention try to move as far as the rural villages. Associations try to help the authorities. People suffering from Aids themselves try to inform and by telling their stories promote a decline of denial and exclusion. Yet medical and psychosocial help and care should be better, for, if they weren’t, the discourse on prevention would be totally useless.
In the fight against HIV-Aids, prevention strategies are a determining stake. Can one however be satisfied with devices that would not be submitted to a critical assessment ? From the point of view of its impact and consequences, prevention must be both at once efficient and respectful of the person in its rights and values. The adolescent should be able to be granted an access to all information allowing him to have a series of autonomous choices at hand and which also would enable him to stress his own responsibilities whereas at the same time his frailties would be taken into account.
In the course of prevention network in CRIPS, the author presents a research carried out on the the language underlying the actions of communication and prevention of Aids towards young people. The aim was to analyze, amid every single act of communication the representations covering words in order to guarantee that the messages that are emitted do indeed refer to the realities and values that organize on the one hand the sociolinguistic universe of the adults and on the other, that of the youths. The question thus asked is whether the modes of expresion can be transposed one from the other.
The elaboration and organization of health educational programms with youths should meet precise criteria. Here, the author discusses prevention in terms of HIV and drug addiction. Only a credible information, adapted to the public aimed at, may exercize some positive influence : it should be given mainly to vulnerable subjects but also to the whole community. International cooperation in that field is more than ever on today’s agenda.
In this paper, the author comments two epidemiological studies on the use of condoms with youths between 15 and 18 (H. Lagrange, B. Lhomond, and the ACSJ team) and the risk frequency rate of Aids among the young drug-users (F.Lert). She draws the following conclusions :
– adolescents are responsible subjects who do respond to health messages,
– prevention actions may be useful and efficient,
– however the actions with high-risk youths should be thought over more carefully.
This paper shows how the theme of Aids is tackled and used by those youths who call Fil SantÈ Jeunes (a free help line). Aids appears there no longer as a displacement pattern but as a true illness we should make out among others the ordinary fantasmatic productions linked to the puberty problematics and the pathological discourse of young adults. Even in calls for fun, the listener must take into account the reality of the epidemics and should take car of prevention
Though being a ” young homosexual ” does not mean a specific risk of being contaminated by Aids, it may be studied as a priviledged figure of the psychological stakes liable to guide an adequate prevention, notably as regards the reference to the Oedipian father. Gabriel’s discourse, coming from a research dealing with the unconscious dimension of prevention, enables to stress a problematic ” angelism ” that may be considered as a real risk factor and questions reversely the present politics of prevention as well as the position of the psychologist in front of a youth on the register of his sexuality.
Starting from the realizing that prevention of Aids among adolescents and youths is important whereas the epidemics is of mediocre concern to that population, the author begins to ponder on the complexities of the social representations associating Aids and adolescence, starting from the idea that such categories result from a task of the social institutions. Hence developing a prevention discourse on Aids with those categories entails Aids to be thus integrated into a consensus discourse rather that speaking in terms of marginal categories (homosexuals, addicts, African migrants). When referring to both these categories, what is at stake are patterns of social functioning (the biographical institution in the case of adolescence, the territorial group for youth). Such a reading of the action of prevention shows the underlying political splitting, i.e. on the one hand, adolescence that should be protected from the risks run by Aids ; on the other hand, youth that should be protected from the risk run by society due to Aids.
As a result of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, children have been infected, particularly through the transmission of the virus from mother to child, but thanks to progress in anti-retrovirus treatments, some of these youngsters have now reached pre-adolescence and adolescence. An exploratory study of nine adolescents in Montreal who are living with HIV/AIDS highlights the particular problems they encounter: the repercussions of announcing that they are infected, preoccupations about revealing this to their family and friends, especially the peer group, fears about establishing intimate relationships or about becoming parents, and about being sexually active and preventing disease. This exploratory study shows some of the issues they are confronted with in their psychosexual development.
How can we speak of prevention in adolescent alcohol consumption, when it is not accepted that alcoholism in adolescents represents a risk during this period ? Alcohol dependency does exist in adolescents, however, and true prevention is conceivable only in connection with a wider questioning of alcohol consumption in France.
Adolescence, 2008, T. 26, n°4, pp. 1003-1009.