For many years the focus of family life education in the United States has been the prevention of teen pregnancy. With over one million teens getting pregnant each year and an alarmingly high rate of sexually transmitted diseases, obviously our educational methods and resources have been sadly lacking. AIDS is now added as a deadly threat to adolescents. As a result, AIDS education is a primary goal, mandated not only by local districts but also by state education departments. We have an opportunity to teach adolescents about sexuality so that they can make safe choices.
We have made incredible strides in understanding AIDS at the scientific level—the epidemiology, transmission, illnesses caused by HIV infection, and methods of treatment. However, the epidemic continues worldwide and there is no vaccine or cure. Education continues to be the best weapon of defense.