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Give me your opinion!
Dec 4, 1997

How do you feel about Sex/AIDS/HIV prevention or education in a public school setting?

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Hi. Thank you for your question. HIV/AIDS education in public schools (and private schools) is very important. This is because, for many children, this is their ONLY opportunity to learn about HIV/AIDS. Curriculums regarding HIV/AIDS can vary tremendously from one school system to another. Some school systems have very comprehensive curriculums on the subject. Other school systems have virtually no curriculum at all. Therefore, you cannot assume that a child in school is getting a comprehensive HIV/AIDS education. You need to talk to the school directly to find out what local children are learning (and what they are not learning). In addition to learning about HIV/AIDS, children in school should also be learning about other STDs, sex education, and alcohol/drug abuse. This is important since all of these topics are so closely inter-related.

Of course, teaching kids about HIV, STDs, alcohol/drug abuse, and sex education, should not be limited to the schools alone. Parents should be teaching their children about these subjects as well (assuming the parents, themselves, know about these subjects). Unfortunately, a lot of parents feel extremely uncomfortable even mentioning any of these topics to their children, spouses, or anyone else for that matter. However, it is very important for parents to talk about these subjects to their children. You cannot depend on the schools alone, to teach these subjects. One great way for parents to help teach kids about these subjects, is for BOTH the parents and children TOGETHER, to visit the Internet, to learn about these topics. For example, parents and their children may want to visit this website TOGETHER to learn more about AIDS and STDs.

Educating children is not the responsibility of the schools alone. It is the responsibility of BOTH the schools, AND the parents. For more information on teaching children about HIV and AIDS, please see the post, "Motivation For Behavior Change".

If you have any further questions, please feel free to call the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide).



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