Abstinence in the news
The second was a statement from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reminding the Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) that STD prevention materials distributed by federally funded abstinence programs must "contain medically accurate information on condom effectiveness."
In 2006 abstinence-based sexuality education programs received around $170 million dollars, and have routinely exaggerated condom failure rates. This reminder from the GAO would suggest that abstinence-based sexuality education should be required to use something like a CDC fact sheet which states: "For persons whose sexual behaviors place them at risk for STDs, correct and consistent use of the male latex condom can reduce the risk of STD transmission. However, no protective method is 100% effective. When used correctly, condoms are highly effective in preventing HIV and can reduce the risk of transmission of gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis."
Together these articles reminded me that teens need to be engaged in conversations about the "choice" to be sexual, with the right person, protecting both partners from the risk of an unwanted pregnancy or sexually transmitted infection, including HIV, and avoiding any coercion or pressure to participate in activities that are not consensual.
Photo credit: ewedistrict