Washington, D.C., ‘Prime Example’ of Ineffective Youth HIV/AIDS Education, Letter to Editor Says
A recent Washington Times opinion piece "highlights important statistics about the AIDS epidemic" in Washington, D.C., as well as the "need for more prevention education," Richard Urban of Urban Life Training and Reality Assessment Teen Choice writes in a Times letter to the editor. However, although the authors of the opinion piece "offer no prevention plan, it is clear where they are coming from: Abstinence programs are 'ineffective'; prevention programs must be 'evidence-based,' which is code language for 'programs that ... promote abstinence need not apply,'" Urban adds.
The district is a "prime example of what has gone very wrong when it comes to preventing HIV/AIDS" in the U.S., Urban writes, adding that programs that "encourage and support youths in their decision to abstain from sex ... have been evicted from D.C. public schools" by Mayor Adrian Fenty and schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee. No "effective HIV/AIDS prevention strategy can be devised as long as D.C. politicians and school officials" do not support "policies that look at what is best for all D.C. children and families," Urban concludes (Urban, Washington Times, 8/18).