The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Tait Sye, 202-973-4840 or Diane Quest, 202-973-4851

Planned Parenthood Marks Worlds AIDS Day, Stresses Need for Prevention and Real Sex Education

Urges Congress to Stop Funding Failed Abstinence-Only Programs


As the international community marks World AIDS Day on December 1,
2008, Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) calls for renewed
attention to the importance of testing and prevention to stop the
spread of sexually transmitted infections like HIV/AIDS, and for an end
to federal funding for abstinence-only programs that fail to work by
denying teenagers the lifesaving information they need to stay healthy
and safe.

Today, we reflect on the wide-reaching impact of HIV/AIDS and call
upon elected officials to face these challenges with commonsense
solutions to protect women, men and teens around the world. Through a
real investment in education and testing, we can begin to effectively
prevent the spread of this disease.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC), more than 1.1 million people were estimated to be living with
HIV disease in the United States.

As one of the nation's leading reproductive health care providers,
Planned Parenthood knows firsthand the power of education and testing
in preventing the spread of sexually transmitted infections. Every year
PPFA provides five million women, men and teens worldwide with the
health information and services they need to prevent unintended
pregnancy and protect their health.

In the last decade, more than $1.5 billion in federal and state
funding has been wasted on dangerous abstinence-only programs that deny
teenagers lifesaving information.

A recent study by the Guttmacher Institute found that most federally
funded abstinence-only programs do not help delay teens' sexually
activity. Rather, the study found that comprehensive sex education
programs had a positive impact on teen sexuality and should be more
widely used.

In addition to PPFA's prevention work in communities across America,
the organization's international programs expand access to
comprehensive reproductive health services and HIV prevention programs
throughout Asia, Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean. Planned
Parenthood works to train increasing numbers of health care partners to
provide HIV/AIDS counseling and testing.

For more information on the HIV/AIDS testing and treatment programs at a Planned Parenthood near you, log onto our website:

Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is many things to many people. We are a trusted health care provider, an informed educator, a passionate advocate, and a global partner helping similar organizations around the world. Planned Parenthood delivers vital health care services, sex education, and sexual health information to millions of women, men, and young people.