Experts Call for Global Sex, HIV Education Programs to Expand Beyond Discussions of Safer Sex Practices
August 8, 2008
Many sex and HIV/AIDS education programs around the world focus on the risks of unsafe sex, which can leave young people unprepared to deal with their sexuality or lead sexually fulfilling lives, experts said at a satellite session on comprehensive sex education at the XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City on Wednesday, IRIN News reports.
Prabha Nagarja of the Indian organization Talking about Reproductive and Sexual Health Issues, which runs an anonymous help line, said the group's efforts have shown many shortcomings in India's approach to sex education. She said, "A new national curriculum on sex education tells young people what not to do sexually, without telling them why or explaining to them the most basic things, such as how intercourse happens." She added that callers to the group's help line "have no idea how to protect themselves" from HIV/AIDS. Swedish AIDS Ambassador Lennarth Hjelmaker said, "Teaching about the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases is necessary, but it must go hand in hand with teaching about healthy sexuality and communicating with young people about their experiences" (IRIN News, 8/6).
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.