Tuesday, December 1, 2009

World AIDS Day Commemorated Internationally, Education Needed in Wisconsin

Today is World AIDS Day and in Wisconsin, as is the case across the globe, more work needs to be done to address not just the need for greater medical advances to treat and cure the disease, but also to work through litigation, advocacy and education to stop the stigma that people with HIV and AIDS live with every day. The World Health Organization founded the commemorative day in 1988, but two years earlier, the ACLU’s national AIDS Project was started to fight discrimination against people in employment, housing and public access to accommodations.
The ACLU of Wisconsin has worked with the national ACLU’s AIDS Project on discrimination issues in our own state. But one bill in front of the Wisconsin legislature could make a difference in education about and prevention of HIV at a root level.

The Healthy Youth Act would raise the state standards on how public school students are taught about reproduction, contraceptives and protection against sexually transmitted infections. The bill would be a great step forward in educating young people about how important it is to make healthy choices about sex and why knowing your HIV status through testing is at the core of preventing the further spread of the virus.

For more information on the Healthy Youth Act, check out or recent blog post on the issue. Or view a video posted today of an interview with ACLU attorney and advocate Rose Saxe on the advances the ACLU is making on behalf of HIV positive people across the country.