Joint Memo from AOE and VDH on Comprehensive Sex Education
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced that the total combined cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis (STDs) reported in 2015 reached their highest number ever. The data show that Americans 15 to 24 years old accounted for nearly two-thirds of chlamydia and half of all gonorrhea diagnoses.
Over the last 15 years, at least 80 percent of chlamydia cases diagnosed annually in our state have been among Vermonters 24 years of age or younger. The 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, a survey of about 40,000 Vermont youth in school grades six through 12, found that nearly one-third (31 percent) reported having had sex in the past three months. Among sexually active students, only 58 percent reported using a condom during their most recent sexual intercourse, greatly increasing their chances of contracting an STD or HIV as well as the risk of an unintended pregnancy.
To address these trends, and to promote and protect the health of young Vermonters, we recommend that school districts and supervisory unions have in place policies and procedures to implement comprehensive sex education and Condom Distribution Programs.