Georgia state law insists on HIV and sexual education that lay emphasize on abstinence till marriage. Programs in sexual assault and abuse prevention are mandatory in schools from kindergarten to K12. However, the local schools are free to decide on what sex-related information or content they decide to share with middle and high-schoolers. The program “may” include sexual abuse awareness.
This means the school authorities decide what appropriate content is. Most local schools tend to caution students about the risks of STD, regardless of condom use, instead of impressing upon them the right approach to using condoms and the need for consistent use of condoms. The fact is even if pregnancy is not a concern, STD is.
The downside of this is school children are not really equipped with comprehensive sex-related information to make informed and responsible choices. The result is disastrous. Adolescence is the age where hormones effectively delegate common sense to the back seat and usurp the driver’s seat. This is when kids need age-appropriate information that will help them adopt a healthy approach to the physical side of their intimate relationships when they do become sexually active. This includes the importance of HIV testing and herpes testing.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) survey conducted in 2011 puts the percentage of high school students who have indulged in sex at 47 percent. While this age group makes up for just about 25 percent of the population sexually active, they account for nearly half the STDs including gonorrhea, human papillomavirus (HPV), and chlamydia. The statistics do not make allowance for the unreported and undiagnosed cases. One of the reasons students don’t go to an STD clinic for testing is the lack of symptoms.
Statistics have brought to light that African American males, both heterosexual and bisexual, bear the disparate burden of STD (especially HIV) when compared to all other ethnic groups. About 55.5 percent of Conyers, GA population is comprised of African Americans, making the population more vulnerable to STD.
Feb 7th is observed as Black HIV/AIDS Awareness day. The nucleus of this awareness day is to use local communities to educate this ethnic and vulnerable group about HIV and other STDs. The focus of this initiative is to encourage them to get STD tested on this day each year. Both college and organizations based on faith are used as a platform to grease the wheels of this initiative.
Also, the CDC uses another platform GYT (Get Yourself Tested) to increase awareness of STD and get young people to take control of their sexual health, irrespective of their sexual orientation. Non-symptomatic STD poses the biggest threat.
STD testing is the only way to know whether or not you have chlamydia, a STD that is non-symptomatic in most people. If left untreated, it could lead to ectopic pregnancy, infertility, and an increased risk of an HIV infection. Pregnant women with the disease can pass it on to their babies during the birthing process. Such babies face the risk of lung and eye infections.