CDC: Only half of sex education programs fully cover STD, pregnancy prevention

The Los Angeles Times (12/9, Kaplan) reports that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new report, which found that “American high schools got generally good marks for their teaching of topics related to sex education, but there are still many areas in need of improvement.” Nationwide, “95% of schools explained to ninth- through 12th-graders how sexual transmitted diseases are spread and the health consequences of an STD infection, while 85% of schools taught students how to get products and services to help them prevent STDs and pregnancy.” However, just “70% explained why it was important to use condoms correctly and consistently, 60% told students how to get condoms, and 54% demonstrated how to use them correctly.” In addition, “only 46% of American high schools covered all 16 topics related to preventing pregnancy, HIV and other STDs that government health experts say are essential.” Dr. Jonathan Mermin, Director of the CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, said in a statement, “We need to do a better job of giving our young people the skills and knowledge they need to protect their own health.”