Media reports of HIV cases in high schools around the metro area have focused public attention on the issue. But, this is not news to many local school administrators. There are more than a hundred reported living HIV cases among high school-aged teens in the St. Louis region — and many more diagnosed cases of sexually transmitted diseases among teenagers that increase their risks of contracting the HIV virus. Although the HIV rate is relatively low; the STD infection rate is pretty high.
Administrators in the St. Louis Public School district have been pro-active on this issue — and student health a top priority of the new superintendent. In close partnership with the City’s Health Department, SLPS already offers a wide range of classroom and extramural information and service programs for teens and their parents aimed at keeping kids healthy. The City’s Health Department said this week that the SLPS plans to increase those efforts by contacting students’ parents directly.
This is a wise precaution.