HIV positive teenager calls for better sex education

A 19-year-old man who is HIV positive has written to education secretary Michael Gove in a plea to bolster education about the virus in schools.

Luke Alexander has been campaigning for greater awareness about the condition and appeared on This Morning claiming the "vast majority of young people today have little or no common knowledge" about the condition.

He was diagnosed with HIV one year ago, after he began to feel ill in April 2013. He experienced a fever, sweating and was put off eating. 

At Birmingham Pride in May, Luke decided to take advantage of free sexual health tests, but thought nothing more of the situation. However, he received a phone call sooner than anticipated telling him his results were a "cause for concern". 

Having been diagnosed with the condition, Luke said his initial reaction was that of fear, mainly because he wasn't aware of the treatment methods available to him. 

When asked whether or not his sex education at school taught about using condoms and how important they are, he said that it focused around pregnancy and bacterial infections.

He said he always knew it was necessary to use a condom, but this was never stressed in the context of HIV. 

One year on from his June 2013 diagnosis, the 19-year-old is now committed to campaigning for improved levels of sex education to prevent other people going through the same situation as him. 

He has written to Mr Gove in a bid to make the sex education curriculum more thorough in light of his experience. He said he didn't feel as though he received the information that he needed at the time, to suitably warn him against the dangers of unprotected sex. 

Dr Ranh Singh also appeared on the ITV show and cited a survey by the National Aids Trust, which revealed young gay men's knowledge about HIV is "shockingly low". 

Approximately 100,000 people in the UK have the virus, although as many as one in five of those are unaware that this is the case.