The Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS), HIV/AIDS Education Program is funded through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Adolescent and School Health (CDC/DASH). The fundamental mission of the HIV/AIDS education program is to decrease the prevalence of HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and unintended pregnancy among youth by fostering an increased awareness of healthy behaviors and practices that can help them become healthy adults. Program goals are in alignment with those of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy and includes: 1) reducing the number of people who become infected with HIV; 2) increasing access to care and improving health outcomes for people living with HIV; and, 3) reducing HIV-related health disparities.
The program’s guidelines are also consistent with state legislation, as well as school policy and procedures. These include: Florida Statute 1003.46, Health education; instruction in acquired immune deficiency syndrome, School Board Policy: 2410 – School Health Services Program; School Board Policy: 2417 – Human Growth and Development Curriculum; School Board Policy: 8453 – Direct Contact Communicable Diseases; the M-DCPS Worksite HIV/AIDS Hand Book, and Control of Communicable Disease in School Guidebook for School Personnel.
The HIV/AIDS Education program implements and monitors state, district and school health policies and practices that address HIV prevention by:
- Ensuring schools provide quality HIV prevention education
- Encouraging positive communication and decision-making skills related to sexual risk behaviors
- Providing professional development trainings on HIV, STD and pregnancy prevention to school administration and faculty responsible for teaching health education classes
- Facilitating the opportunity for students with AIDS or HIV infection to attend classes and participate in school sports or other activities
- Creating a safe environment for impacted youth to seek assistance and comfort