The Source: Funds Shift From AIDS Education to Abstinence-focused
Last week, the Texas House of Representatives voted to approve its budget and with it a couple of controversial amendments that change how sex education information gets to students.
$3 million originally budgeted for AIDS and HIV prevention programs was shifted into abstinence education in an amendment filed by Rep. Stuart Spitzer R-Kaufman.
Another amendment that passed Tuesday night banned sex education materials in public schools if they were made by an organization that provided abortions.
Spitzer has defended his amendment saying only $1.5 million would be shifted from the HIV/STD Awareness Education Fund, which is 1 percent of its $191.4 million budget.
Texas ranks third in the U.S. for the number of new diagnoses of HIV, with 5,044 people being diagnosed in 2011. An estimated 1.1 million people are living with HIV in the country today. Public health officials believe 16 percent of people with HIV are undiagnosed. Among teenagers, half of all infected people don't know it.
Texas also ranks fifth in the number of teen mothers according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Is Texas making the right move for its Teenagers' Health? What is the impact when abstinence is taught instead of STD prevention?
- Jill Rips, Deputy Executive Director for the San Antonio AIDS Foundation