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Brazil to give gay teenagers sex education

Ben Townley, Gay.com UK

Wednesday 1 September, 2004 12:03 | More from this date | Today's headlines
Brazil is set to launch its first ever sex education campaign targeted at gay adolescents, according to press reports, in a bid to curb the rise of HIV amongst gay men.

The country's Ministry of Health launched a campaign to work with non-governmental organisations that focus on the health of gay, teenage boys yesterday.

The campaign will also look at preventing the increased transmission of HIV amongst gay adults.

It will take place through the country's radio stations and will feature interviews with other adolescents discussing their sexuality, according to the online magazine Brazzil.

"There is nothing more important or relevant than getting through to adolescent homosexuals who find it difficult to deal with the question of prevention at home and in school," the magazine quoted Minister of Health Humberto Costa as saying yesterday.

The initiative comes as increasing numbers of health works in the UK call for sex education aimed at gay teenagers.

Last year, at a Labour Big Conversation, sexual health experts called for the government to improve the standard of sexual education, to add it to the national curriculum, and to start teaching children around 10 years old.

They said that a more holistic sexual education would lead to the next generation being better protected from HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

Additionally, An Independent Advisory Group on Sexual Health and HIV told the Department of Health (DoH) in February that sex and relationship education should pay particular attention to the needs of young lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people.

Additionally, it said the problem of homophobia in schools should be combated more enthusiastically.

“Research continues to tell us about the parlous state of affairs in schools and youth settings, and the rates of suicide and self-harm among young LGB people should be a cause for grave concern," the group said at the time.

"Visible work to make it clear that homophobia is as unacceptable in schools as racism should be done at all levels.”

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