Student Curriculum to Prevent HIV/AIDS

Student Health Curriculum to Prevent HIV/AIDS is in the Spotlight Following Award Recognition
Posted on 02/12/2021
National Black HIV-AIDS Awareness Day Award

The School District of Palm Beach County is receiving recognition for empowering and supporting student health through a comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention curriculum.

Monarch Health Services, in partnership with Triple H Ministries, honored the District with an Advocacy award during a virtual ceremony for the 2021 Evening of Mirth: Rewrite The Stars Gala on February 7, 2021, to recognize National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.

“We take our diversity and equity work seriously and this award affirms our efforts and encourages us to continue to produce and teach age-appropriate, medically-accurate, culturally-affirming HIV prevention education for all youth in Palm Beach County,” said Pete Stewart, health education specialist in the District’s Department of Teaching and Learning.

The District has been teaching HIV prevention since the early 1990s. The goal of the curriculum is to reduce HIV stigma as well as to promote prevention, testing, and treatment to lead to healthier choices to eventually end the HIV epidemic.

“HIV prevention education is so important because HIV is preventable,” Stewart said. “Each year in the United States, we have over 50,000 new infections, a disproportionate number of which affect people of color. We were so honored to be recognized for this award because of the fantastic efforts that all of our science teachers put into teaching the curriculum every year. Our program, which is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), offers potentially life-saving information to students about the importance of prevention and risk avoidance activities.”

The theme for this year’s Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is “We’re All In This Together.” “We’re ALL In” is also the name of the District’s sexual health education initiative, which is funded through a CDC grant.

“Even in this time of COVID-19, where our teachers are performing both in-person and distance learning, we all have a role to play in addressing social injustices, including health inequities,” Stewart said. “We thank the School Board for all of their support, the CDC that funds this project, and most importantly, all of our fantastic science teachers who teach this curriculum each year. We couldn't reach all of these students without them.”

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