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Why Sex Education In Schools Matter

Schools Play Key Role in HIV/STD Prevention

 

Why schools?

Just as schools are critical settings for preparing students academically, they are also vital partners in helping young people take responsibility for their own health. School health programs can help youth adopt lifelong attitudes and behaviors that support overall health and well-being—including behaviors that can reduce their risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

In the United States, schools have direct contact with more than 50 million students for at least 6 hours a day during 13 critical years of their social, physical, and intellectual development. After the family home, schools are the primary places responsible for the development of young people. This gives schools an opportunity to play an important role in HIV and STD prevention.

What can schools do to support HIV and STD prevention?

Photo: Teenage boy and girlResearch shows that well-designed, well-implemented HIV/STD prevention programs can significantly reduce sexual risk behaviors among youth. A review of 48 comprehensive curriculum-based sex and STD/HIV education programs found that about two-thirds of the HIV/STD prevention programs studied had a significant impact on reducing sexual risk behaviors,1-2 including

  • A delay in first sexual intercourse,
  • A decline in the number of sex partners, and
  • An increase in condom or contraceptive use.

None increased the likelihood of having sex.1-2

Schools also can conduct programs to teach youth how to solve problems, communicate with others, and plan for the future. Evidence indicates that such youth asset-development programs can be associated with longer-term reductions in sexual risk behaviors.3

What can schools do to support HIV and STD testing?

Making HIV testing* a routine part of health care for adolescents and adults aged 13–64 years is an important strategy recommended by CDC to reduce the spread of HIV.4 HIV testing is also an integral part of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy to prevent the spread of HIV and improve health outcomes for those who are already infected.5

State and local education agencies and schools are essential partners in this effort. Schools can help support HIV and STD testing by—

  • Teaching students about HIV and other STDs.
  • Promoting communication between parents and adolescents.
  • Teaching students how to find HIV counseling and testing services.
  • Providing referrals to testing, counseling, and treatment services.
  • Providing on-site testing for HIV and STDs.

CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH): Supporting HIV and STD Prevention Efforts

Sexual risk behaviors place adolescents at risk for HIV infection and other STDs:

  • In 2010, of the estimated 47,500 new HIV infections in the United States, 12,200 were among youths aged 13–24 years.6
  • Nearly half of the 19 million new STDs each year are among young people aged 15–24 years.7

DASH provides funding and other assistance that enables state and local education agencies to deliver HIV prevention programs that are scientifically sound and grounded in the latest research on effectiveness. Many of the strategies implemented by schools to prevent HIV infection can also help young people avoid other STDs and unintended pregnancy.

DASH-funded activities include—

  • Implementing HIV/STD prevention curricula that are medically accurate, are consistent with evidence of effectiveness, and teach critical skills such as how to access valid information about HIV and how to develop effective refusal and negotiation skills.
  • Helping communities collect and analyze data on sexual risk behaviors of young people to ensure that programs are data driven and responsive to local needs.
  • Providing state-of-the-art professional development to ensure that teachers have the knowledge and skills to effectively teach young people how to protect themselves from HIV/STD infection.
  • Ensuring safe and supportive school climates that increase student engagement with school, reduce discrimination, bullying, and isolation, and decrease the likelihood that students will engage in risky behaviors.
  • Supporting the adoption and implementation of critical policies related to infection control procedures and confidentiality for students and staff with HIV infection.
  • Establishing links to community-based health services that provide testing, counseling, and treatment for HIV and other STDs.

This article was from CDC. (http://www.cdc.gov/Features/HIVSTDPrevention/index.html?s_CID=tw_STD0130466)

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Posted by on March 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Malacañan Bothered by Sudden HIV/AIDS Cases Rise

Now we are looking at the consequence of delayed and slow intervention by the government, a sudden and sharp increase in the prevalence of HIV/AIDS. And at the rate that new cases are being diagnosed monthly, HIV/AIDS I fear might become an epidemic in this country. One must remember that at present times, the only time that a case of HIV/AIDS ends is when that afflicted person dies as complete cure is far from access. It really is bothersome and fearsome to look at the graph of new cases monthly. For the year 2012, monthly newly diagnosed cases has breached the 200 mark, and these are only from the reported and accidentally diagnosed cases. I strongly believe that there are still people with HIV/AIDS that fears to be identified on the loose.

(For the Feb 2012 DOH Data on HIV/AIDS/STI, visit the site: http://www.doh.gov.ph/sites/default/files/NEC_HIV_Feb-AIDSreg2012.pdf )

Suddenly, Malacañan is alarmed. They issued statement saying that the Department of Health must intensify its campaign against the illness. Good, but ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

Look at the dilemma where DOH stands. BUDGET. For the year 2012, the WHO suggested that the PH government should allocate about 400B to DOH. But DOH only asked for about 90B for their annual budget. However, Malacañan only approved about 40B. This budget goes to improvement of some hospitals, medical supplies, maintenance, what have you. And how does this budget translate to?

When I rotated at a government hospital, we had one dressing tray for all our patients, for the entire day. That dressing tray includes a povidone iodine for cleaning patient’s wounds. I’d be thankful if I only have 5 patients in my care as the supply may last till the last patient. But for those who have 20 patients lined up, after the fifth patient, the supply runs out. And when you go back to the central supply room for replenishment, it would be a miracle if you still can get some. Otherwise, the poor patients have to buy their own antiseptic solution or worse, the doctors have to shell out from their personal funds, just for their patients to have their wounds cleaned and taken cared of. (kakarampot na nga ang sweldo, magdodonate ka pa para sa pasyente). Also, try to enter the restrooms of the government hospitals. You’d be lucky if it smells good, if there’s water to flush down the johns, or if the floor is regularly cleaned. During my student days too, laboratory tests and antibiotics used to be free. But lately I have learned that patients have to pay those on their own already. So if a patient who had a head trauma needs an immediate CT scan but he doesn’t have a budget of it, poor he. I can go on and on… but the bottom line is, government/DOH hospitals are existing on meager budgets. (I don’t have the intention to speak ill of government hospitals but I want to share my personal experience for others to picture what does it mean by a very low DOH budget).

Now here comes Malacañan wanting DOH to do something about the alarming HIV/AIDS cases. I wonder if with this concern comes additional budget? Other daily concerns of the government hospitals can not be funded well, what more of the HIV campaign? Where does Malacañan expect DOH to get fundings for this program? Surely Malacañan is aware that HIV/AIDS can’t be addressed by faith healing… Funding is badly needed.

And I heard a rumor that Bill Gates will one day stop subsidizing for free anti-HIV medications. I hope I am wrong and it is just a rumor but if it happens, this will be another big challenge for the DOH.

Why not pass the RH bill now? Why not railroad its passage and enforcement as well? If the present administration is so passionate about impeaching the chief justice, why not equally devote time and effort for the immediate passage of this bill? According to the LEDAC (whatever this stands for) RH Bill is a priority bill. Hurray to that! And Malacañan should also realize that more people will benefit from the passage of RH Bill than when Corona gets convicted.

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2012 in HIV/AIDS, RHBill

 

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