Mexico City Ministerial Declaration – “Educating to Prevent”/ Declaración Ministerial de la Ciudad de México –“Prevenir con educación”
The Mexico City Ministerial Declaration – “Educating to Prevent,” is a strategic tool to strengthen HIV prevention efforts in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) by ensuring access to quality, comprehensive sexuality education and sexual and reproductive health services. The Declarationseeks to foster equity among all people and to combat discrimination, including that based on an individual’s HIV status, sexual orientation, or gender identity. The needs of most-at-risk individuals are not forgotten and figure prominently in the goals of the Declaration. Please find below four fact sheets in a series on the Ministerial Declaration created by SIECUS for the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
Role of Civil Society in the Promotion of Sexual Health (PDF)
El rol de la sociedad civil en la promoción de la salud sexual (PDF)
No Apologies, the Truth about Love, Life, and Sex
No Apologies: the Truth about Life, Love, and Sex is an abstinence-only-until-marriage curriculum published by Focus on the Family, a U.S.-based organization with a mission “to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in disseminating the Gospel of Jesus Christ to as many people as possible, and, specifically, to accomplish that objective by helping to preserve traditional values and the institution of the family.”1 Originally written for U.S. schools, the curriculum remains relatively unchanged although it is now being used in many nations including Australia, Costa Rica, Japan, South Africa, and Ukraine. SIECUS recently reviewed the international version and found that it fails to take into account the cultural, social, and economic issues of the young people now being provided with the program. In addition, our review found that the curriculum continues to instill fear and shame in young people, distort information on STDs, disparage condom use, idealize marriage, ignore gay and lesbian individuals, and rely on ineffective virginity pledges. Moreover, there is no evidence that No Apologies or similar abstinence-only-until- marriage programs reduce levels of unintended pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS.
Comprehensive Sexuality Education is HIV Prevention
We have fallen into a trap of presuming that preventing HIV is separate from promoting sexual health in general. In fact, providing young people with comprehensive sexuality education is the best means of preventing the spread of HIV. Comprehensive, medically accurate, age- appropriate sexuality education curricula offer the complete picture on HIV/AIDS: what it is, how it is spread, and how to protect yourself. In addition to facts, comprehensive programs teach relationship skills that help young people learn to make decisions about their health and carry out those decisions.
Evidence versus Ideology in HIV/AIDS Prevention: The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)
Although The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief: U.S. Five-Year Global HIV/AIDS Strategy (PEPFAR, also known as the U.S. Strategy) claims to support evidence-based approaches to HIV/AIDS prevention, it simultaneously insists on unproven and potentially harmful abstinence-until-marriage programs. PEPFAR purports to apply the “ABC” strategy of HIV/AIDS prevention that has shown some evidence of success, but redefines this approach by relegating condom education and distribution to the very fringes of prevention work. In fact, closer inspection of PEPFAR reveals that the Administration believes more comprehensive programs are only appropriate for small segments of the overall population in countries covered under the plan.
The Barrier Method: Obstacles to Condom Education and Distribution in the U.S. Global AIDS Strategy
Since the start of the AIDS pandemic over twenty years ago, it has been widely acknowledged that condom use is one of the best existing defenses against the spread of HIV. Prevention efforts across the globe have sought to teach proper condom use, encourage consistent use, and make condoms widely available. Recently, however, condoms have come under attack.
Exporting Ineffective Policy: The Globalization of American Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs
As the global community works fervently to prevent HIV transmission, unintended pregnancy, maternal mortality, and exploitative sexual practices, the Bush Administration is exporting policies that undermine both national and international efforts to ensure sexual and reproductive health.