According to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), it seems that sex education fails at protecting students against STDs.
According to the Adolescent and School Health report, the number of teenagers who were drinking alcohol or using a condom the last time they had sex hasn’t changed much in the last 20 years.
Even if almost 25 percent of the new HIV infections and half of the reported STDs occur in young people under the age of 25, the rate of safe sex among this group hasn’t increased since the early 2000s.
On the contrary, the percentage of teenagers who are using condoms when they have sex has actually dropped from 63 percent in 2003 to 59 percent in 2017. More than that, almost 22 percent of the respondents admitted that they consumed alcohol or drugs last time they had sex.
Dr. Stephanie Zaza, director of the Division of Adolescent and School Health from the CDC claims that the consequences of ineffective sex education can have negative consequences on the students’ health. Zaza emphasizes the importance of sex education in bringing the information that could help young people protect themselves from the risk of STDs.
The category at the higher risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, is made up of young people with multiple sex partners, who are not using condoms and who are using alcohol or drugs before having sex.
The Adolescent and School Health report also reveals that not all high schools are covering all the 16 sex education topics recommended by CDC, which would provide teenagers the necessary information regarding the personal, familial and community health.
Only 21 percent of Arizona schools were covering the 16 topics, with the percentage rising up to 90 percent of the schools in New Jersey. More than half of the states have a covering rate of under 50 percent and just three states have a rate of more than 75 percent – New Jersey, New Hampshire and New York.
When it comes to middle schools, the rates are even lower, ranging from 4 percent in Arizona to 46 in North Carolina. The topics are covered by less than 20 percent of the middle schools in most of the states.
Researchers in the field of HIV and STDs are ringing an alarm bell, arguing that it is very important to teach young people about sexual risks and sexual health before they start having sex. Teachers and schools need to take their responsibility more serious and start doing a better job.
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