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STDs & HIV





Whatís Going On?:
the President Ignores Comprehensive Sex Ed
Author: Nadia Molina





President Bush, in this yearís State of the Union 
address, said he wants to spend $270 million on 
abstinence-only programs. This would restrict the 
amount of money available to support or expand 
comprehensive sex-ed programs in our communities. 

Weíve already seen local after-school programs 
focusing on teen pregnancy prevention being threatened 
because of lack of funds. Itís not about abstinence 
not being important, itís about opening up our eyes 
and looking beyond the BS the ďleadersĒ of America 
(aka Bush) tell us.

Reality check! Teens are having sex whether you like 
it or not. What we need to do is provide them the real 
411, what we call comprehensive sex education, so they 
can make healthy and responsible decisions about sex. 

You think we, at our young age, donít know whatís 
going on? The truth is, we probably know more than you 
think. We know that itís tough to have babies and it 
takes a lot of effort to raise them. We know whatís 
going on: we have friends who are moms and dads at 14 
or 15 years old. We see this reality in our daily 
lives. We know that STDs and HIV/AIDS are real and 
they are catching up to us before we know it. 

As youth, we know that not all of us are getting the 
information that we need, like knowing how to put on a 
condom, or that we can prevent a pregnancy with the 
morning-after pill. As youth, we also know this lack 
of information often leads to bad decisions and 
possible regrets. If our parents and ďleadersĒ 
accepted this too, more would support preparing teens 
to make good choices that could probably save their 
lives. 

I live in the real world. Iím not a statistic, but Iím 
not Ms. Perfect either. Iím a young girl trying to 
succeed and I can honestly say that I know Iím ahead 
of the game. Iím a Mexican-American girl, Iím not 
pregnant, and I have learned how to make responsible 
decisions. I learned the facts thanks to the 
comprehensive sex-ed Iíve received in my teen years. 
When it comes down to it, itís our choice weather we 
have sex or not and what works is getting the straight 
facts. I end up making the moral judgment anyway. Itís 
important to have these programs because if teens 
arenít getting their info from home or school, they 
need to get it somewhere! Better that they know the 
right and accurate information from professionals than 
from the streets.

We need to fight for our rights. According to a column 
by James Wagoner, in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 
70% of teens have had sex by the age of 18, and about 
10,000 teens are infected every day with an STD. 
Latinos and African-Americans across the US run the 
highest risk of contracting HIV and AIDS. Todayís 
youth are at risks and as Americaís future, we should 
be entitled to a free and healthy life. 

Whether we choose to have sex or not, we need to look 
out for each other, because our ďleadersĒ arenít doing 
so. Cutting comprehensive sex-ed programs will lead to 
ignorance and must be stopped. Policy makers are 
making careless decisions that will deprive us of 
information essential for our growth and development. 
How else are we going to build up our self-esteem and 
our responsible decision making if we donít know 
whatís going on in the real world?

In the end, our choices now will affect the rest of 
our lives. Hopefully every teen in America will be 
provided with enough information to make the best 
decisions regarding sexuality. Knowledge is power, and 
if they take away the knowledge provided from 
comprehensive sex education, they take away our power.