PREP is a direct result of tireless advocacy
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has officially launched the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP), setting aside $55 million in federal funding which, for the first time, will pay for comprehensive sex education. The DHHS is also making $50 million in funding available to support Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. Both PREP and Title V were authorized and funded as a part of the recent health care reform package.
“PREP is a direct result of tireless advocacy for comprehensive sex education by parents, educators, health professionals, and young people over the last decade,” said James Wagoner, president of Advocates for Youth. “The continued funding of abstinence-only- until-marriage programs, in contrast, is an effort by members of Congress to appease social conservatives.”
To date, the United States has spent more than $1.5 billion on abstinence-only-until-marriage programs that contain false and misleading information and have been shown to have no impact on teen behavior. These programs explicitly prohibit the teaching of potentially life-saving information about condoms and contraception, leaving young people in ignorance and at risk.
According to DHHS, the purpose of PREP is to “provide age-appropriate information for youth between the ages of 10 and 19 on both abstinence and contraception for the prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS.” This comprehensive approach to sex education is supported by more than 100 scientific and medical associations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Society of Adolescent Medicine, and the American Medical Association.