Georgia: Annual Teen Health Forum Focuses on Keeping Kids Safe
May 9, 2007
More than 2,000 eighth-grade students took part in the 2007 Houston County Teen Health Forum on Tuesday. Held at the Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry, the event's goal was to help teens learn how to make good decisions on matters affecting their health.
Among other speakers was Macon physician Harold Katner. As graphic images of very ill AIDS patients were displayed, Katner said, "I'm here because I don't want you getting HIV. By telling you the truth about this disease, I hope to give you the knowledge and the power."
"I don't want to lose you to this disease," said Katner, who has worked with AIDS patients for more than 25 years. "I beg you, don't throw you lives away for a few minutes of pleasure."
In addition to HIV, students learned about other STDs, drugs and alcohol, school violence, and pregnancy, and they were asked to take a pledge to stay away from guns.
Dawn Pace, a language arts teacher at Warner Robins Middle School who has taken part in the forum for three years, said students afterward inevitably bring up the images displayed by Katner. "They need to see if you do this, this will happen. They need to hear that," she said.
The Houston County Teen Health Forum has been presented annually since 1991.
05.09.07; Jenny Gordon
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.