Originally published on Advocate.com October 17 2008 12:00 AM ET
A high school in
Missouri will install an HIV/AIDS testing center after
several students were exposed to the virus. The St. Louis
County Health Department said it was the first time in
its history that a routine investigation on the
virus's origin following a diagnosis in the area
has led to a high school. Parents of students at Normandy
High School were notified on Wednesday.
concern, but we really don't want to raise alarms
here," health department spokesman Craig LeFebvre said to
the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "This is not some
major new outbreak or method of transmission, and there's no
evidence to suggest it was deliberately being spread."
The testing site
will open later this month on site, and it will be
completely run by health officials. The school's 1,300
students will also be offered counseling and
literature about HIV.
Students in the
Normandy school district are offered the option of
enrolling in a sexual education class, designed for those in
grades four through 12.
About 5% of HIV
diagnoses in St. Louis and its suburbs are attributed to
teenagers, according to the state department of health and
senior services. The area had 11 new cases of HIV
among people 13-18 in 2007. (Michelle Garcia, The