D.C. Board of Education Asks School Superintendent To Revise Health Education Program, With Focus on HIV/AIDS
The District of Columbia Board of Education has asked D.C. Public Schools Superintendent Clifford Janey to revise the system's health education program by the end of this year, with a focus on curbing the spread of HIV/AIDS among youth in the city, the Washington Examiner reports. Currently, there are no schoolwide standards for HIV/AIDS content and there is no system to track students who have received health education, according to school officials. The Board of Education recommended that the superintendent hire a Cabinet-level school health administrator to oversee the program. "This policy is way overdue, especially with the district having what is believed to be the highest rate of new AIDS cases in any major U.S. city," Board of Education President Peggy Cooper Cafritz said in a statement, adding, "(It) is imperative to provide our young people in D.C. schools with the skills and information to protect themselves" (Rupert, Washington Examiner, 9/29). A report released in August by the DC Appleseed Center found that the city's response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic has been inadequate and poorly coordinated (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 8/25). The report said that the incidence of new AIDS cases detected among 20- to 24-year-olds in the district is 3.5 times the rate among 13- to 19-year-olds. However, the report noted that some HIV-positive young adults likely were infected during their teenage years (Washington Examiner, 9/29).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.