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STD Rate Growing in DC Public Schools

The District of Columbia (DC) has launched a new program to stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases in young teens. The program will offer tests for STDs to all high school students and will use tax payer dollars to fund their treatment.

The program was conducted last year at eight DC high schools and the results concluded a significant amount of infected students. Nearly 13 percent of 3,000 tested positive for an STD, mostly gonorrhea or chlamydia, according to the D.C. Department of Health. The results are clear indicators that young teens are having unprotected sex.

In an effort to educate and prevent the spread of STDs, the program will require all high school students to attend a lecture about STDs, during which they can voluntarily provide a urine sample to be tested. All 50 states and the District of Columbia allow minors over age 12 to be screened for STDs, without parental consent, which opens the gate for controversy.

Advocates of the program give praise to the message and intent to educate and treat students with STDs, but many believe parents need to be involved.

I think the issue presents a catch 22...While I think parents should be involved and aware of their child's activities and health issues, I think allowing students confidentiality will make them more inclined to be tested and treated. I don't know which option is more beneficial to the big picture....but I must say that I'm impressed with what DC schools are doing to promote and educate students about safe sex and STDs. This effort will hopefully lower the HIV and AIDS rate that is destroying our community especially young African Americans.


Big Sis said...

hmm, yeah this is a toughy, while i'm glad to see some positive momentum here, i wonder if sometimes we forget to treat children like children.. i mean when i was young, it was no such thing as your privacy and rights! so i wonder if giving kids this so called confidentiality is treating them as adults.. Like my mamma used to say- when you move out and pay your own bills- that's when what you do WONT be my business!