New York City Public Schools to Adopt New HIV/AIDS Curriculum By December
October 18, 2005
New York City public schools by December are scheduled to introduce a new curriculum to teach students about HIV/AIDS prevention, the New York Sun reports. According to advocates who advised the city, the new curriculum includes "more positive language around condom use" and updated statistics show that HIV can affect anyone, according to the Sun. The current curriculum, which was written in the late 1980s and adopted in 1991, is outdated and includes factual errors, advocates say. The curriculum also includes dated information on contraception use, according to Claire Simon, program director for Love Heals, an organization that teaches in city schools. For example, the curriculum says it is safe to use nonoxynol-9, a once-common spermicide that CDC has found irritates tissue in the vagina, making women more susceptible to sexually transmitted diseases. According to state law, public schools in New York must teach HIV/AIDS education to all students. City law requires students be taught six lessons annually in seventh through 12th grades and five lessons annually in lower grades. Michael Long, chair of the state Conservative Party, opposes the new curriculum, saying condom use should not be taught in public schools. "To go down that road is only looking for more trouble than we need," he said. According to the Sun, the state Education Department plans to introduce the curriculum by Dec. 1, which is World AIDS Day (Kolben, New York Sun, 10/17).
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