Archive for November, 2009

So Comprehensive Sex Ed Works

November 12, 2009

Something the public healthists have been saying for awhile now…

National Partnership for Women and Families has it here. The CDC issued a report that gave the findings of a panel of 15 experts who reviewed the results of a meta-analysis of studies on comprehensive sex education. Here’s what Women’s Health Policy Report said:

Sex education programs that advise students to delay sexual activity while also offering instruction on ways to avoid unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections effectively reduce risky sexual behavior, increase condom use and decrease spread of STIs, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-commissioned report released on Friday, the Washington Post reports. The report said there is insufficient evidence to determine whether programs that focus on abstinence until marriage reduce the chance adolescents will engage in risky sexual behavior, become pregnant or contract an STI.

Of course the abstinence-only supporters (becoming fewer and fewer by the day) tried to discredit it, but I think the proof is in the pudding.

I can’t find the original CDC report, does anyone have it?

I think it’s interesting as well that they couldn’t find sufficient evidence to make a determination on the effects of abstinence-only programs. I’ve read studies that say it may contribute to higher teen pregnancy rates. I don’t have links for that either, though, so don’t quote me in your final papers. 

Anyhoo, good news! This report comes on the heels of President Obama’s attempts to redirect federal funds to only cover sex ed programs that have scientific evidence to support their validity. Not internal/external, ya nerds, like their truthfulness. I like to think things like this mean some of us might actually find jobs when we’re done with school in June.

Keep in mind as well that comprehensive sex ed includes curriculum to prevent sexual initiation by promoting abstinence but also educating students about STI and pregnancy prevention.

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Birth Control Through History

November 2, 2009

You have to check out this slideshow from Newsweek.com. It’s a look back at the history of birth control. Just a few minutes long and very informational. Plus it’s funny! They definitely use the word “womanizer”. Genius.

Finding Fruit in the Desert

November 2, 2009

Many urban and rural areas have become “food deserts”, or places where there are no supermarkets and grocery stores. Food deserts leave people with few options other than shopping at convenience stores for food. Well you’re lucky if you can finding a banana selling for $1.00 at most of these places and it is mostly cookies, candy, and canned goods a high prices. Public health officials have finally caught on to this (it does little good to tell a person how to eat right if they don’t have access to the food in the first place) and store owners in Cleveland, New York, Louisville and elsewhere are being approached by public health organizations and economic development agencies with offers of new equipment, marketing expertise or neighborhood promotions to encourage them to stock more fresh produce, whole wheat bread and other healthy offerings. The NY Times has more on this. Makes me feel pretty hopeful that we can turn things around.

Well it is about time!

November 2, 2009

Finally, after 22 YEARS, HIV-positive individuals will be able to travel to the United States. While I can understand the environment when this restriction was initially based in 1987, I really cannot understand why it took 22 years to lift this ban. Despite all our funding for HIV/AIDS efforts in Africa, our country was continuing to contribute to stigma and discrimination. I think the lifting of this ban will have many positive effects on public health because the ban discouraged travelers and some foreigners already living in the United States from seeking testing and medical care for HIV/AIDS. It will also ease adoption of children with HIV and allow for international HIV/AIDS conferences to be held in the United States. Progress in public health! Hizza!