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Comprehensive Sexual Health & HIV/AIDS Instruction

Information on comprehensive sexual health education and HIV/AIDS/STD prevention; includes legal requirements for education in these areas and additional resources for quality instructional programs.

New legislation has been enacted that will change Comprehensive Sexual Health Education and HIV/AIDS Prevention Education. The new laws go into effect January 1, 2016. Please check back soon for updates.

HIV/STD Prevention Disclaimer:

This site contains HIV/STD prevention messages that may not be appropriate for all audiences. HIV is defined as Human Immunodeficiency Virus, AIDS is defined as Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, and STD is defined as sexually transmitted disease.

California Comprehensive Sexual Health & HIV/AIDS Prevention Act

The California Comprehensive Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS Prevention Education Act, California Education Code (EC) sections 51930-51939 External link opens in new window or tab. , has two primary purposes:

  • To provide a pupil with the knowledge and skills necessary to protect his or her sexual and reproductive health from unintended pregnancy and STDs;
  • To encourage a pupil to develop healthy attitudes concerning adolescent growth and development, body image, gender roles, sexual orientation, dating, marriage, and family.

These sections of the EC address both comprehensive sexual health education and HIV/AIDS prevention education. The law requires that HIV/AIDS prevention education is taught once in middle school and once in high school, and states that if comprehensive sexual health education is taught, the local educational agency (LEA) must abide by all tenets of EC 51933. The LEA may not pick and choose topics.

"Comprehensive sexual health education" means education regarding human development and sexuality, including education on pregnancy, family planning, and sexually transmitted diseases (EC 51931).

"HIV/AIDS prevention education" means instruction on the nature of HIV/AIDS, methods of transmission, strategies to reduce the risk of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, and social and public health issues related to HIV/AIDS (EC 51931).

Abstinence shall be taught within the context of HIV/AIDS prevention education (EC 51934 (3), however, abstinence-only education is not permitted in California public schools.

The following do not qualify as comprehensive sexual health instruction or HIV/AIDS prevention instruction, and therefore, are not subject to the same rules that govern comprehensive sexual health and HIV/AIDS prevention instruction:

  • Description or illustration of human reproductive organs that may appear in a textbook, adopted pursuant to law, on physiology, biology, zoology, general science, personal hygiene, or health (EC 51932).
  • Instruction or materials that discuss gender, sexual orientation, or family life and do not discuss human reproductive organs and their functions (EC 51932).

Frequently Asked Questions
Questions and answers regarding comprehensive sexual health education and HIV/AIDS and STD instruction.

Comprehensive Sexual Health Education
Provides information concerning authorized comprehensive sexual health education (EC 51933).

Clarification of Laws Pertaining to HIV/AIDS Prevention Education
Letter sent to County and District Superintendents on May 4, 2006 regarding the California Comprehensive Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS Prevention Education Act.

Curriculum Guidance
Provides information on curriculum and how to obtain curriculum for loan.

California Healthy Kids Resource Center – Sexual Health Evaluations External link opens in new window or tab.
The reports in this section evaluate the compliance of curricula with California laws regarding sexual health and HIV/AIDS prevention education.

Equal Opportunity & Access
Discloses the practices of the California Department of Education to ensure equal, fair, and meaningful access to its employment and program services.

HIV/AIDS Prevention Education
Provides information concerning mandated HIV/AIDS education (EC 51934).

HIV/AIDS Instruction PowerPoint Presentation | PPT
Provides information regarding mandated HIV/AIDS instruction and laws related to permissible comprehensive sexual health instruction.

HIV/AIDS Funding & Reimbursement
Information on how HIV/AIDS instructional costs can be reimbursed.

HIV Information External link opens in new window or tab.
Medically accurate and objective information and resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (EC 51930 - 51939).

HIV Fact Sheets External link opens in new window or tab.
Medically accurate and objective fact sheets from the CDC (EC 51930-51939).


Parental Notification and Consent
Information regarding parental notification for HIV/AIDS prevention education and comprehensive sexual health education, including a sample parent/guardian notification letter in multiple languages.

Program Guidelines for HIV/AIDS Prevention Instruction
This California Department of Education publication provides guidelines for state-mandated HIV/AIDS prevention education in California middle and high schools.

Teacher Training & Guest Speakers
Provides information regarding the legal requirement to provide teacher trainings and the ability of local educational agencies to contract with outside consultants (EC 51935).

Sexual Health Education Accountability Act
Provides information concerning the Sexual Health Education Accountability Act requirements.

Birth Control Guide External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)
Provides a chart detailing all federal Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptive methods in preventing pregnancy, including, but not limited to, emergency contraception (EC 51933 [10]).

Male Latex Condoms and Sexually Transmitted Diseases External link opens in new window or tab.
Medically accurate and objective fact sheet from the CDC on the effectiveness of male latex condoms, prevention of HIV/AIDS, and sexually transmitted diseases (EC 51934 [3]).

Resources for High Priority Counties
Resources for teachers and students that include local clinical sites and, if available, local 24/7 emergency hotlines for youth based on environmental scans of the high priority counties as identified by STD rates, Unintended Teen Birth Rates, HIV rates, and the focus of the CDC funded HIV/STD prevention.

Statewide & National Sexual Health Resources
A list of statewide and national resources for students and teachers on clinical services, medically accurate sexuality information, and comprehensive sexual health educational materials, including 24/7 emergency hotlines.

STD Facts & Data

California Department of Public Health

STD Fact Sheets for Youth (English and Spanish) External link opens in new window or tab.
Medically accurate and objective fact sheets on STDs designed for youth from the CDC (EC 51930 - 51939).

STD Local Jurisdiction Data External link opens in new window or tab.
Provides statewide data as well as local health jurisdiction data for better program planning, and improved planning for resource allocation and interventions.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey External link opens in new window or tab.

School Health Profiles Data External link opens in new window or tab.

Questions:   Coordinated School Health and Safety Office | 916-319-0914
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, December 30, 2015

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