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What age should children be taught about HIV?

Apr 8, 2004

Help. There is a small group of parents who object to the Human Growth and Development Curriculum in our district, which also includes education about HIV. Currently, students are taught about HIV as early as the fifth grade. Some parents feel that we should not use the actual term "HIV". What is the opinion of experts?

Response from Dr. Horwath

I'm not sure what the parents are objecting to. Do they object to education about sexuality? If so, then this needs to be discussed and resolved. Different parents and communities have various standards as to when kids should learn about sex. These differences need to be respected and taken into account.

However, once children are educated about sexuality, then they need to hear about HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. It doesn't make sense to provide sex education without including education about HIV.

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