This is a humble advocacy for you to enact strategies of enforcing policies aimed at ensuring condoms availability in all learning institutions in the United States. In this memo, I seek to remind you about the healthcare-related issues that are continuing to affect most learning institutions in the nation. The school condom availability policy should be promoted as an effective approach to elevating the level of condom usage among students in schools.
Since the 1990s, the AIDs crisis has promoted the development of numerous policies aimed at protecting students from HIV infection in schools. One of the most appropriate policy that was developed entailed distributing condoms in schools. In most cases, such policies were enacted by various intergovernmental agencies in the United States. However, since the enactment of such policies, some parents and other education sectors have opposed condom distribution to learners.
The World Health Organization (WHO) classified human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), to be a critical healthcare issued facing the youth in the United States and other parts of the world (WHO, 2017). School-going youth between the ages of 13-24 face the highest risk of HIV infection (Bekker & Hosek, 2015). Nevertheless, despite the governments efforts to educate the public about HIV infection, the rate of new infections has gradually increased over the years.
Also, according to the Advocates for Youth (2017), the United States has the highest number of birth rates among adolescents than any other industrialized nations in the world. Also, approximately 80 percent of such adolescent pregnancies are normally unintended, and they occur mostly among adolescents who do not use any contraceptives (Advocates for Youth, 2017). This is also a primary reason why there is an urgency in the distribution of condoms in academic institutions.
Currently, I am majorly concerned about the HIV risk behaviors that are perpetrated by students in different learning institutions. Past scientific reports have indicated a high statistic of students in the United States engage in unprotected sexual behaviors (Kassa, et al., 2016). Also, a large number of students indulge in the excessive consumption of alcohol, which is also a major risk factor for HIV infection. As such, I believe that this is the time that appropriate strategies for enforcing condoms distribution in schools should be enacted.
Subsequently, this will aid most students to reduce the risk of HIV infection alongside other sexually transmitted diseases. Moreover, condom usage will also reduce the proportion of unwanted pregnancies that affect numerous students in the United States. Additionally, HIV infection and unwanted conceptions can have a great impact on the quality of education attained by students in the American schools. This is because affected students often drop out of schools or call off their semesters for extended periods.
Additionally, the students who do not call of their learning often produce poor grades due to the challenge of dealing with their health conditions. Furthermore, the constant absenteeism of students affected by such health care issues influences the overall performance of learning institutions negatively. In the long run, this reflects negatively on the entire American education sector, especially among the international nations and students who perceive the United States as the nation with the best learning institutions in the world.
Furthermore, major intergovernmental agencies like the American College of Obstetricians, National Medical Association as well as American School Health Association have already adopted policies for promoting condom distribution in schools (Kirby & Brown, 1996). Additionally, these agencies advocate that condoms should be made available to adolescents as a key component of their comprehensive school health programs. Nevertheless, despite their efforts to promote condoms distribution in American learning institutions, the policy has been dismissed by a significant proportion of learning institutions.
Additionally, I agree that sex education and teaching abstinence to students is an effective method of preventing HIV infection and unwanted pregnancies among students in the nation. However, I believe that parents and educators should also teach sexual responsibility to their teenagers. Today, sexual responsibility is equated to using a condom to prevent unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, such as AIDS. In this case, the effectiveness of condom usage can be supported by government legislation that enforces the distribution of condoms in learning institutions.
Moreover, conservative groups in the United States like the Family Research Council has strongly opposed the distributions of condoms in American schools (Anijar & DaoJensen, 2005). This has been on the grounds that condom distribution will encourage the perpetration of sex immoralities in schools. However, I believe that this outlook is wrong because learners will have a great realization of the importance of self-responsibility by using condoms to protect themselves when having intercourse in learning institutions.
Also, the appreciation of the LGBT as a major demographic in the United States has also increased over the past decade. Subsequently, more students in the American learning institutions have accepted their sexuality preferences, both at school and in other environments. Nevertheless, according to the CDC, gay and bisexual men have the highest rate of HIV infection in 2015, in the United States (CDC, 2017). This statistic further promotes the need to promote condoms distributions in schools, especially to cater for LGBT students.
Furthermore, according to research performed by the advocacy for youth initiative, past research has indicated that offering youths information about condom usage does not make them attain an elevated level of sexual activity (Advocates for Youth, 2017). Additionally, abstinence is the only way students can stay safe from infections 100 percent. Nevertheless, condoms are by far the best for persons who are sexually active. Also, over 70 percent of all school-based healthcare facilities in the United States have been prohibited from issuing condoms to sexually active learners (Advocates for Youth, 2017).
This shows that a large proportion of sexually active American students are a risk of STIs due to lack of condoms access in their learning institutions. Also, each day, an estimated 25,000 American youth contact STDs while approximately 2,000 conceive unwanted pregnancies (Advocates for Youth, 2017). Also, 55 American youths contract HIV infection each day (Advocates for Youth, 2017). As such, any policy that denies youths in learning institutions from being offered availed with condoms defies any logic in regards to the public health practice.
Also, past scientific research has portrayed that most young persons in the United States fail to use the right protection when having sexual intercourse due to lack of sufficient information (Lindemann, Harbke, & Huntoon, 2012). In case of adolescents and school going youths, most of them possess information pertaining various forms of contraceptives. However, they may be limited from having access to appropriate contraceptives due to constraints like cost, time, and confidentiality. Moreover, others experience apprehension in discussing about their individual health problems.
Such constraints that limit students from having access to appropriate contraceptives can be remedied by providing condoms in school. Additionally, the government supports the access of condoms to such students by ensuring that condom dispensers are placed in schools. In such cases, the condom dispensers may be placed at different strategic points in the school compound, where students that are sexually active can access them confidentially.
Ultimately, in light of the discussion outlined in this memo, I am humbly appealing to you to consider lobbying for new methods to enforce condoms dispensations in schools. It is evident that condoms usage will have a significant impact in reducing the number of new HIV infection among learners as well as the high number of unwanted pregnancies among students. Additionally, this a critical problem that requires an urgent intervention in improving the policies governing the American healthcare provision in learning institutions.
Advocates for Youth. (2017). The Benefits of Condoms. Retrieved from Advocates for Youth: http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/topics-issues/condom/841-condoms
Anijar, K., & DaoJensen, T. (2005). Culture and the Condom. Bern: Peter Lang.
Bekker, L.-G., & Hosek, S. (2015). HIV and adolescents: focus on young key populations. Journal of the International AIDS Society, 18((2Suppl 1)). doi:10.7448/IAS.18.2.20076
CDC. (2017). HIV Among Gay and Bisexual Men. Retrieved from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/group/msm/index.html
Kassa, G. M., Degu, G., Yitayew, M., Misganaw, W., Muche, M., Demelash, T., . . . Ayehu, M. (2016). Risky Sexual Behaviors and Associated Factors among Jiga High School and Preparatory School Students, Amhara Region, Ethiopia. International Scholarly Research Notices. doi:10.1155/2016/4315729
Kirby, D. B., & Brown, N. L. (1996). Condom Availability Programs in U.S. Schools. Perspective On Sexual and Reproductive Health: A Journal of Peer-Reviewed Research, 28(5). doi:10.1363/2819696
Lindemann, D. F., Harbke, C. R., & Huntoon, A. (2012). Beneficial but not sufficient: effects of condom packaging instructions on condom use skills. Psychology Research and Behavior Management, 5, 11-18. doi:10.2147/PRBM.S28876
WHO. (2017). HIV/AIDS. Retrieved from World Health Organization: http://www.who.int/features/qa/71/en/
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