By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com September 19 2003 12:00 AM ET
A tour of five AIDS-ravaged African nations has prompted Macon, Ga., mayor Jack Ellis to begin urging city groups to do more to fight HIV/AIDS locally, including calling on the school board to improve sex education programs for teenagers and to provide condoms for sexually active students, The [Macon] Telegraph reports.
"I think we can do more to publicize and to be more forthright about AIDS, especially given sex education and other things in our school system, because right now we have some prohibition as to even what we can discuss in our school system, be it condoms and other sexual matters," he told the Telegraph. "I think we have our head in the sand somewhat." He said abstinence should still be stressed, but he recognizes that some teenagers are sexually active and should be provided with the information and resources they need to protect themselves from HIV infection. He plans to talk to the Bibb County board of education about revamping sex education programs and to speak with state officials to change a policy that prohibits the distribution of condoms on public school property.