A Little Bit of Sex Ed

Matt and Ann introduced the meeting as an opportunity to discuss the need for sexuality/STD education for the adolescents of Bode me Limbe.  The Haitian medical personnel indicated that they do not regularly discuss these issues with the adolescents but enthusiastically expressed an interest in doing so.  We briefly reviewed a curriculum that we have used in other situations.  This included ways to present accurate information in a Facts/Myths format and vignettes for discussion. Meeting Minutes with Agents Sante, nurses, and Dr. Brinvert

Present: Youselene, Marie Claude, Desamours, Anne-suse, Dr. Brinvert, Dr. Ann, Dr. Matt, and Heather

Matt and Ann introduced the meeting as an opportunity to discuss the need for sexuality/STD education for the adolescents of Bode me Limbe.  The Haitian medical personnel indicated that they do not regularly discuss these issues with the adolescents but enthusiastically expressed an interest in doing so.  We briefly reviewed a curriculum that we have used in other situations.  This included ways to present accurate information in a Facts/Myths format and vignettes for discussion.  With regard to facts/myths, the local personnel introduced some local myths (e.g. you can’t get pregnant or HIV when intercourse occurs in the sea).  A lively discussion took place:
 
There was a consensus that a formal sexuality/STD training for young adults/adolescents was needed within the community.

It was suggested by Ann and Matt that they start such training with a core of older adolescents/young adults and consider selecting some or all of those individuals to continue similar training programs for the younger adolescents.
    
It was felt that meetings should occur on a regular basis, every 2-3 weeks.
    
The goal would be to ultimately involve all those over the age of 12 (an upper age limit was not discussed).

Ann and Matt will send the suggested curriculum, both English and Kreyol translations, to Dr. Tiffany Keenan and Nicola Feldman.
    
It was emphasized that the curriculum is just a suggested framework and that the local medical staff will modify/add/delete to make the curriculum appropriate and meaningful to the local adolescents/young adults in the way they see fit.
    
It was understood by all that we want to encourage abstinence.  However, we all recognized that sexual activity and its consequences (unintended pregnancy/STD/HIV) are happening. 
It will be important to make it clear to parents and the community that the purpose of this training is not to encourage sexual activity.  The purpose is to provide the participants with accurate information and the opportunity to discuss their future decisions.
    
We realized in retrospect that it would have been good to identify a leader/contact person among the local health personnel.  Perhaps that can take place in the future.


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