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Sex Education Efforts Lagging in Schools, CDC Says

April 6, 2012

CDC said Thursday that efforts to teach more secondary school students about HIV, STD and pregnancy prevention have stalled in recent years.

A new report details the findings from 2008 and 2010 data from 45 states that participate in biennial school health surveys. CDC researchers assessed the percentage of schools that teach topics related to HIV, STD and pregnancy prevention, which may differ by grade level but typically include basic information about disease transmission and diagnosis and pregnancy risk reduction. Condom use is a topic only covered in high schools, CDC said.

The proportion of middle schools that taught all essential topics to grades 6-8 declined in 11 states and did not increase in the other 33 states. The percentage of high schools that taught all topics to grades 9-12 declined in one state and increased in two. The proportion of high schools that taught three condom-related topics dropped in eight states and increased in three.

An editorial accompanying the report noted that HIV and other STD education is essential -- particularly for middle schoolers, who most likely have not yet become sexually active. "Families, the media and community organizations, including faith-based organizations, can play a role in providing HIV, other STD, and pregnancy prevention education," the editorial noted. "However, schools are in a unique position to provide [this education] ... because almost all school-aged youths in the United States attend school."

"HIV, Other STD, and Pregnancy Prevention Education in Public Secondary Schools -- 45 States, 2008-2010," was published in CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (2012;61(13):222-228).

Back to other news for April 2012

Adapted from:
Philadelphia Inquirer
04.06.2012; Robert Preidt, HealthDay

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.
See Also
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