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Comprehensive Sexuality Education
INFORMATIONAL LETTER: 84
TO: All Superintendents of Schools, Public and Private Secondary and Elementary School Principals, School Counselors, School Resource Officers, Safe and Drug Free Schools Contact Persons
This letter is to congratulate Maine middle, junior high, and high schools for the accomplishments that have been made in reaching our youth with HIV /STI/ prevention and sexual health skills. With support from the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Adolescent and School Health, the Maine Department of Education is recognized as having a very good reputation for implementing effective HIV education.
Maine students are making more responsible sexuality-related decisions, and are making very good progress in meeting Maine’s YR 2010 Adolescent Health Goals. The following indicate concrete results using the 2007 Youth Risk Behavior data: the percentage of high school students who are abstinent stands currently at 55%. In addition, among students who had sexual intercourse during the past three months, fifty-nine percent used a condom.
There is more work to be done. While teen pregnancy rates for 15 to 17 year olds has remained fairly steady, Chlamydia rates have definitely increased, and it should be noted that fewer students report being taught about AIDS or HIV infection in schools. Across the country, adolescent HIV cases have increased in a number of states.
In support of Comprehensive Sexuality Education for Maine youth, the Department of Education, Teen and Young Adult Health, Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the University of Maine Farmington, and New Beginnings are collaborating to offer the fourth annual Comprehensive Sexuality Conference. The conference will be held on April 14, 2009 from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and will be held at the Augusta Civic Center. For more information, please contact Jean Zimmerman at the Department of Education. Jean.Zimmerman@Maine.Gov .
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