The study revealed that many state schools do not teach students how to avoid unwanted pregnancies, HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
There has been little progress in recent years in increasing the number of American high schools that teach students how to prevent pregnancy and protect themselves against HIV and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
This is the finding of researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States that analyzed 2008 and 2010 data from 45 states that participated in biennial surveys of school health practices.
The surveys evaluated the percentage of schools in each state that taught specific topics related to HIV, sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy prevention. The topics vary in middle and high schools, but generally include basic information on HIV transmission, diagnosis and other sexually transmitted diseases, as well as reducing the risk of pregnancy. The use of condoms is one of the topics addressed only in high schools, said the CDC.
The surveys revealed few indicators of progress between 2008 and 2010. For example, the proportion of middle schools that taught all the core subjects of grades 6, 7 and 8 in 11 states decreased and did not increase in any of the other 33 states.
In high schools, the percentage that taught the eight core subjects in grades 9, 10, 11, and 12 decreased in one state and increased in two states. The percentage of high schools that taught three subjects of condoms in eight states decreased, while in three states it increased.
The report, separated from the states in 2010, revealed that the percentage of middle schools that studied all subjects ranged from 12.6 percent in Arizona to 66.3 percent in New York. The proportion of high schools that studied all subjects ranged from 45.3% in Alaska to 96.4% in New Jersey. The proportion of high schools that taught the three condom-related subjects ranged from 11.3 percent in Utah to 93.1 percent in Delaware.
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Education about how to avoid HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases is critical, especially for high school kids who have not started any sexual activity, experts said in an editorial accompanying the new study.
“HIV prevention can also address misconceptions about how HIV is transmitted,” they said. For example, they say, a 2011 survey showed that “20 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 29 mistakenly believe that a person can get HIV by sharing a cup of drink, or that they are not safe. of this affirmation or error. ”
Experts added that schools remain an integral part of educating young people about ways they can protect themselves and others.
“Families, the media and community organizations, including religious organizations, can play a role in the supply of HIV, other sexually transmitted diseases and education in preventing pregnancy,” the author noted. “However, schools are in a unique position to provide [this education] … because most of the young people of school age in the United States go to school.”