For Immediate Release
Contact: Kristina Romines
Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. applauds updated National HIV/AIDS Strategy
Strategy recognizes sexuality education as a critical component of HIV prevention
Washington, DC – Today, the White House released the National HIV/AIDS Strategy: Updated to 2020 (NHAS 2020). Building upon President Obama’s 2010 National HIV/AIDS Strategy, the first-ever in U.S. history, the updated Strategy emphasizes the importance of sexuality education for young people and “across generations” as well as the role that parents, communities, and schools play in providing sexual health information and tools within “safe, inclusive, and destigmatizing” environments.
“We’re grateful to President Obama and his administration, particularly those in the Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP), for their leadership in advancing sexuality education as a critical component of HIV prevention within the updated Strategy,” said Monica Rodriguez, president and CEO of the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS). “Their continued commitment to expanding science-based and inclusive sexuality education as an integral part of HIV prevention is encouraging, and we will continue to work with the administration to achieve this goal.”
Additionally, the Strategy recommends the scale up of effective structural interventions and highlights that comprehensive sexuality education for school-aged youth “has not been brought to scale across the country.” Unfortunately, while there is currently no federal program specifically supporting comprehensive sexuality education programs, even the effective and evidence-based programs to promote the sexual health of adolescents are under threat of elimination, in the case of the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP), or are operating under limited and stagnant resources, as in the Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH).
“This new strategy provides a critical framework to address HIV in the U.S., but it cannot be implemented without Congress providing resources for what we know works to prevent HIV and secure the health and well-being of our nation’s youth,” said Rodriguez.
"SIECUS thanks ONAP for their leadership throughout community discussions, online engagement, and expert meetings," continued Rodriguez. "SIECUS looks forward to remaining engaged with ONAP, the administration, key offices within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and HIV prevention and sex education partners across the country to ensure that school-aged youth receive comprehensive sexuality education to effectively stem the tide of new infections among young people."
SIECUS affirms that sexuality is a fundamental part of being human, one that is worthy of dignity and respect. We advocate for the right of all people to accurate information, comprehensive education about sexuality, and sexual health services. SIECUS works to create a world that ensures social justice and sexual rights.