Chicago: Promoting Safe Sex Is a Year-Round Challenge
April 11, 2003
Although the American Social Health Association has declared April "STD Awareness Month," the ongoing battles with syphilis and HIV, among other diseases, make it a year-round fight. Eric McCool, manager of Gentry's, a gay bar with two Chicago locations, said the bar has constant safe sex promotions and teams up with local groups Test Positive Aware Network and Horizons to raise STD awareness among its patrons. "It's a seven-day-a-week, 365-day-a-year situation, especially with the syphilis rates going up," McCool said. In 2002, there were 353 syphilis cases in Chicago, up from 317 cases in 2001, according to Dr. Carol Ciesielski, a physician with the city's Department of Public Health. Chicago public schools start to educate students about STDs as early as kindergarten, according to Peggy Finnegan, Family Life and AIDS Education manager for the school system. Each grade receives age-appropriate instruction, and condoms are not mentioned until seventh grade. "Abstinence is promoted and encouraged at all levels," Finnegan said. "That's the main message."Adapted from:
04.10.03; Jimmy Greenfield
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.