Mandatory HIV Lessons
All students in New York State are required to receive HIV/AIDS instruction every year. In grades K-6, students are required to receive five lessons each year.
EXAMPLES OF WHAT STUDENTS LEARN
Grades K-3: General basics of disease prevention: washing hands, covering mouth when sneezing or coughing, and cleaning and bandaging cuts. Children learn not to touch other people's blood, and to ask adults to help when someone is bleeding. They learn that HIV is a bloodborne virus that impairs the immune system. They also learn to develop empathy for children and adults who are living with HIV/AIDS.
Grades 4-5: Lessons focus on how the immune system works and how HIV is transmitted. Activities focus on how to resist negative peer pressure and "choose companions who share your beliefs, values, and interests." Students are told to stay away from alcohol and other drugs, and never to share needles or other sharp objects that can transmit blood from one person to another. Abstinence from sexual contact is stressed.