HIV AIDS Education

Welcome to the HIV/AIDS Education & Prevention Homepage

Healthy Youth Nebraska: Addressing Risks, Resiliency & Barriers to Success Conference Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018 Holiday Inn in Kearney

HIV/AIDS Prevention Program Overview

HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus.  AIDS stands for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome.   It is the result of the HIV infection.  Very simply, it is a disease caused by a virus that can damage the brain and destroy the body’s ability to fight off illness.  AIDS by itself doesn’t kill.  But it allows other infections (such as pneumonia, cancer and other illnesses) to invade the body, and these diseases can kill.

NDE also coordinates the administration of statewide surveys the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) the Youth Tobacco Survey (YTS) and the Nebraska Risk and Protective Factor Student Survey.   Student Health and Risk Prevention (SHARP) is the umbrella uniting the ONLY three student health surveys endorsed by the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (NDHHS).  The SHARP data provides insight into the health behaviors of our youth.

The “Sunny D’s” HIV Peer Educators has received the 2012 Governor’s Points of Light Award

HIV Study Named Breakthrough of 2011

In January 2012, Science, the nation’s leading science journal, named a study with Nebraska ties the 2011 breakthrough of the year.  Researchers say the findings have changed the discussion about stemming the spread of HIV.

Susan Swindells, medical director of the HIV Clinic at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, co-authored the study, which examined transmission rates in 1,750 couples, each with one infected partner.  The study showed that the use of antiretroviral drugs by partners with HIV/AIDS stopped the spread of the disease to their uninfected partners 96 percent of the time.

“In theory, we could treat our way out of this epidemic,” Swindells said.  “We’ve got something that works.”  The medications could be used to quarantine the virus in those already infected, which could lead to its complete eradication, she said.  But the costs of the drug plus the lack of access to it by more than half of the 40 million people infected with HIV worldwide are major obstacles, Swindells said.

In the United States, antiretroviral cost about $14,400 a year for each HIV-infected person.  That doesn’t include the cost of health care or monitoring.  The therapy’s effectiveness already has shifted the conversation about AIDS, a debate that long has been complicated by those who fear that treatment could detract from prevention efforts.
The study, lead by HIV Prevention Trials Network, has led some world leaders, including Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, to emphasize treatments as prevention.  The HIV Prevention Trails Network, a global partnership dedicated to reducing the transmission of HIV, led the study.

National Sexuality Education Standards Set the New Gold Standard for Sexuality Education in Public Schools

Four leading health organizations recently released the first-ever national standards for sexuality education in schools.  Published in the Journal of School Health, the ground-breaking National Sexuality Education Standards: Core Content and Skills, K-12 provide clear, consistent, and straightforward guidance on the essential minimum, core content for sexuality education that is developmentally and age-appropriate for students in grades Kindergarten through grade 12.
The standards are the result of a cooperative effort by the American Association of Health Education, the American School Health Association, the national Education Association Health Information network, and the Society of State Leaders of Health and Physical Education, in coordination with the Future of Sex Education (FoSE) Initiative.  Nearly 40 stakeholders including content experts, medical and public health professionals, teachers, sexuality educators, and young people developed the standards in a two-year process.
To view the complete National Sexuality Education Standards, go to

AIDS at 30: The U.S. Epidemic

“AIDS at 30: The U.S. Epidemic” chronicles the thirty years since the first cases of a rare pneumonia found in young gay men were reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. This four minute video highlights landmarks in the history of AIDS from the discovery of the AIDS virus and the banning of Ryan White from attending school to the early twenty-first century when the CDC recommends HIV testing for virtually every American.

Our Team

Chris Junker
HIV/Sexual Health Education
5807 Osborne Dr. West
Hastings, NE 68901
Phone: 402-463-5611 x 171

Administrative Assistant
Health/Physical Education
Nebraska Department of Education
301 Centennial Mall South
Lincoln, NE 68509-4987

Updated August 7, 2019 11:37am