AIDS/HIV

Record High HIV Rate Prompts Florida School District To Expand Sex Ed

Broward County, Fla., which has one of the highest HIV rates in the country, announced this week that it wants to expand sex education requirements in schools to include HIV and AIDS prevention.

In 2012, the HIV rate in Broward rose 25 percent. Meanwhile a survey found that 13 percent of high school students said they were never even taught about HIV or AIDS in school, ThinkProgress reported.

The current sex ed curriculum is more than 10 years old and included outdated birth control methods. It doesn’t even mention the HPV vaccine.

County officials want to expand sex ed to that students in all grades receive comprehensive information on sexual transmitted disease and prevention.

“Our hope is to ensure schools start talking about [sexual health] often, that students are not getting a hodgepodge and that sex education is more consistent,” Amalio Nieves, the director of diversity outreach and prevention for the school district, told the SunSentinel.

"A key piece to the policy is having accountability," said Nieves. "One thing we struggle with is identifying who is teaching…when is curriculum being taught and how many students are receiving education."

Parents would still be able to opt their children out of the sex ed program.

"Our children need to see themselves in the curriculum and see their families reflected in the curriculum," said Nieves. "We have grandparents raising children, we have kids raising kids, we have single moms, dads."

The school board is not expected to vote on the measure until 2014.

Sources: ThinkProgress, SunSentinel

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