As you know, abstinence-only and abstinence-only-until-marriage programs have received strong support under the Bush Administration, both in U.S. domestic policy and also in U.S.-funded international HIV/AIDS prevention programs. They are also highly controversial.
Last Thursday, the Society for Adolescent Medicine in the United States released a strong position paper critiquing (U.S. domestic) federally funded abstinence-only-until-marriage programs in the Journal of Adolescent Medicine. This paper and other related documents can be found on our website at http://www.genderhealth.org/HIVprev...
The position paper states the following :
"Current U.S. federal law and guidelines regarding abstinence-only funding are ethically flawed and interfere with fundamental human rights."
"Current funding for abstinence only programs should be replaced with funding for programs that offer comprehensive, medically accurate sexuality education."
The paper is published in the Journal of Adolescent Health and is accompanied by a short review article titled, "Abstinence and abstinence only education : a review of U.S. policies and programs." The paper has also been endorsed by the American College Health Association.
Additionally, there is another SAM position paper in the Journal titled, "HIV infection and AIDS in adolescents : An update of the position of the Society for Adolescent Medicine." Highlights :
"The Society endorses efforts to expand knowledge of HIV infection to youth from all countries and recognizes that priorities in this regard need to be based on local needs, not externally developed policies."
"The Society endorses community based HIV/AIDS prevention and education that recognizes the importance of abstinence but that is comprehensive and sensitive to the needs of all adolescents, including those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or questioning."
You’ll find these documents from the Journal and the society on line, as well as a press release from our colleague organization, Advocates for Youth, calling for a moratorium on all federal funding to domestic and international and only programs
With best wishes, Jodi
Jodi Jacobson, Executive Director
Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE)
Takoma Park, Maryland 20912
Email : jjacobson genderhealth.org