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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
October 8, 2008

HIV Prevention Education and HIV-Related Policies in Secondary Schools—Selected Sites, United States, 2006

JAMA. 2008;300(14):1645-1646. doi:10.1001/jama.300.14.1645

MMWR. 2008;57:822-825

2 tables omitted

Persons who engage in sexual risk behaviors are at increased risk for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. School health education can help reduce the prevalence of sexual risk behaviors among students.1 In addition, school health policies can help protect the rights and health of HIV-infected students and staff members and reduce the likelihood of transmitting HIV infection to others.2 To determine the prevalence and extent of HIV prevention education and the prevalence of HIV infection policies among public secondary schools,* CDC analyzed data from the 2006 School Health Profiles for schools in 36 states and 13 large urban school districts. The results of that analysis indicated that, in 2006, the majority of secondary schools included HIV prevention in a required health education course (state median: 84.2%; district median: 57.2%); however, few secondary schools (state median: 21.1%; district median: 28.5%) taught all 11 topics listed in the questionnaire related to HIV prevention. Approximately half of schools (state median: 51.6%; district median: 48.3%) had a policy regarding students or staff members with HIV infection or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). To help reduce HIV-related risk behavior and protect the rights and health of HIV-infected students and staff members, schools should increase efforts to teach all HIV prevention topics and implement policies regarding students or staff members with HIV infection.