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Action Alert: Say NO to Abstinence-Only Sex Education

August 9, 2010

On Aug. 30, governors nationwide face a critical decision: Apply for comprehensive sex education funds, apply for monies for abstinence-only programs -- or ask the federal government for both.

But years of research have already shown abstinence-only programs to be ineffective.

Which is why we're urging you to tell your governor TODAY to choose funding for comprehensive sex education in your home state.

Our nation has already spent more than $1.5 billion on abstinence-until-marriage education. Thanks to advocates across the country, however, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently launched the

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Reader Comments:

Comment by: Rodney Holt (Nashville, Tn) Thu., Oct. 21, 2010 at 5:44 am EDT
Abstinence does work if its adhered to. Condoms do lower the risk of hiv infection, but they don't totally eliminate it. Couple A, practices abstinence until marriage. Couple B, practices safe sex and may or may not get married. Which couple is more at risk of hiv infection? Abstinence works whether an individual is gay or straight if its followed. If PREP involes a decision to have sex, even with a condom is still risky. A lower risk, yes but still a risk. Are we trying to lower the rate of hiv infection or trying to seriously halt it. That's your difference between safe sex and abstinence. Abstinence is unpopular in our society but hiv is unpopular too. We have cried safe sex much longer than abstinence, and yet thousands are infected each year in the U.S. alone. Two born hiv negative, never use iv drugs, practices abstinence until marriage and is faithful. There is virtually no chance of hiv infection. If one partner breaks that chain anywhere both are at risk. That's the truth whether the couple is straight or gay. If this PEEP program focus is geared more towards safe sex. It would be a waste of tax dollars. The funding would be better used towards finding a cure or vaccine because hiv infection will still occurr. Safe sex is still like playing with a loaded gun.....sometimes they discharge on accident. Abstinence will work if its followed. Those who don't practice abstinence until marriage, and choose to practice safe sex instead will still be at a lower risk. But when dealing with hiv, no risk is good.
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Comment by: Linda (North Bergen, NJ) Thu., Oct. 14, 2010 at 10:15 am EDT
Abstinence Only is a disservice to everyone. By not knowing about how to prevent HIV and other STD's you put yourself and others at risk. Even if you plan on not having sex until married, those plans do not always work out and then you could find yourself in trouble - either pregnant or with some STD. Also, knowing about how to prevent STD's or preventing pregnancy does not mean your giving teenagers the green light to go out and have sex (as was thought when I was a teenager and some people still think). It's a way of keeping people informed and protected. Since there are still parents out there who do not talk about sex with there children then learning about sex and the possible repercussions from sex education in school can be a big help to them.
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Comment by: boss (Nigeria) Fri., Oct. 8, 2010 at 4:43 am EDT
bloody hell, why not go with the two. i think with sex education someone can decide which one works for them, but i cant lie i went for sex education and i end up HIV positive through condom accident. so to conclude i think its time to adjust not only condoms but also sex orientation since not only HIV is a STD, but there are many out there that are not protected through condom.
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Comment by: ADENEGAN TAIWO SAMUEL (OWO, NIGERIA) Wed., Sep. 15, 2010 at 9:04 am EDT
Virginity is becoming rare and often a scorned virtue. Remaining abstinent or making responsible sexual decisions during the adolescent years may be one of the most significant challenges facing youth today. The average young person experiences many pressures in the formation of personal sexual standards. Sex is here to stay, and it remains a very basic force in our lives. We cannot ignore its presence any more than we can ignore other ordinary human drives. If young men and women would, therefore, make the decision at an early age to remain a virgin until marriage, they would not be faced with spur-of-the moment decision-making. They would know their goal and be willing to do whatever it takes to achieve that high standard.
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Comment by: pauline asgarali (Port of Spain) Sun., Aug. 29, 2010 at 3:14 pm EDT
much blessings 2 u guys....i totally agree with sexual health education, since abstinence only programmes only show 2 n ineffective,.....we r a group called d angels forever foundation in trinidad......we connect ppl to test care treat support educate ,using d system available,we have gotten connected to flags health care....who has offered us hiv rapid test lits......1 minute result, this is great, since from being on d feild we realize tht ppl r either afraid or feel stigmatized 2 visit clinics for testing etc......hiv and other stis'......we visit bars clubs pubs..msm parties and educate in an informal manner d importance of using condoms as well as fidelity......we r doing a project on fb.....where we educate and connect ppl to various clinics etc also,but our very limited funding from just 2 private org. is keeping us from doing this prpoject properly,since,we now have people who wants to get tested with us........but no kits....this is very stressful....since our projects do educate in a method tht after reading/hearing the power points....ppl do come forward to gwet tested.....if u can connect me to any 1 tht can assist us that will indeed b a blessing.....we r now in demand for the msm ....wsw....csw....community'.....much thanks and please respond'......
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Comment by: Namusoke (Uganda- Joint Clinical Research Centre) Thu., Aug. 26, 2010 at 7:23 am EDT
Just to share the JCRC experience that was developed in an effort to promote positive living, self esteem and adherence to ART among adolescents living with HIV at joint clinical research centre(JCRC).

In 2006, with initial funding from USAID ,adolescent peer support groups were established in JCRC with an intention of improving adolescents adherence to ART.

Adolescents meet every after six weeks on saterday to discuss peculiar issues in regard to challenges of living with HIV at school, community and home.

Group activities include group counseling, provision of life skills, art and craft,sports , music, dance and drama and these meetings have lead to the emergency of the stigmaless band(a group of HIV positive youth) , that has perfomed on a number of international conferences in uganda as well educating youths in schools.

In meetings , adolescent sexual reproductive health needs are addressed through interactive focus group discussions, where adolescents resolved to contribute comprehensively to the fight against HIV infection through identification of partners who are HIV positive to ensure adherence and to act as models to other HIV positive adolescents.

On an encouraging point of view, Joint Clinical Research Centre is honored to have its first official wedding for the first couple of HIV positive young people in december 2010.This wedding will not just be a wedding , but an experience that there is life beyond being told that you've got HIV.

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