"Mississippi is among the top states in the nation in the spread of HIV and AIDS among pre-teens to young adults, as well as pregnancies in the same age groups," according findings from CDC's latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report issued last week, the Jackson Clarion-Ledger reports. The CDC report found that the rate of young adults age 20 to 24 living with HIV/AIDS was 33.9 cases per 100,000 people, the eighth highest rate in the nation for this age group. Mary Currier, the state epidemiologist, said the findings indicate that the state's abstinence-only approach to sex education is ineffective. According to the Clarion-Ledger, "any kind of sex education in Mississippi beyond abstinence is a tough sell." The article notes, "Earlier this year, an attempt to establish a pilot sex-education program in a limited number of schools passed the Mississippi House but died in the Senate without a vote. The bill would have required the program to report its successes or failures in a 2012 report to the Legislature." State Rep. Alyce Clarke (D), who authored the bill, said she will try again to get the bill passed (Joyner, 7/21).
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