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The District Falls Short In HIV/AIDS Education

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A report from a D.C. nonprofit calls for more HIV/AIDS prevention education in D.C. public schools.
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A report from a D.C. nonprofit calls for more HIV/AIDS prevention education in D.C. public schools.

D.C. Appleseed has given public schools an incomplete grade for not implementing routine HIV/AIDS prevention courses into school curriculums. In the past, the city's schools have received grades of Cs and Ds.

"While DCPS has improved over time in putting together a comprehensive package of education, that the charter schools are nowhere near where they need to be to make sure the students are hearing the things they need to hear about this epidemic," says Walter Smith, executive director of D.C. Appleseed.

Smith says students aren't learning enough about the disease that's become a growing problem in the District. He says another problem is the city's failure to extensively track the spread of HIV/AIDS.

"Right now we don't have a clear measure year after year if the rate of new infections is going down and whether or not it's going down in high-risk populations in the city," Smith says.

Smith says the spread of HIV/AIDS within those high risk groups is perpetuated by sharing unclean needles. He's urging Gray to expand D.C.'s needle-exchange program to provide clean needles to addicts.

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