HIV / Sexual Health Education

Welcome to the HIV/AIDS Education & Prevention Homepage

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.


What is YRBS?
The Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) is part of the National Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System created and managed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

This statewide survey is designed to monitor trends in the following health risk behaviors:

  • Unintentional injuries and violence
  • Mental health and suicide
  • Tobacco, alcohol, and drug use
  • Sexual risk behaviors
  • Unhealthy dietary behaviors
  • Physical inactivity

Nebraska began conducting the YRBS in 1991.


What is SHARP?
The Student Health and Risk Prevention (SHARP) Surveillance System was created in 2010.  It is the umbrella that encompasses the coordinated administration of three school-based student health surveys in Nebraska, including the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), Youth Tobacco Survey (YTS), and Nebraska Risk and Protective Factor Survey (NRPFSS).

SHARP includes the ONLY three student health surveys endorsed by the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) and Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (NDHHS).  All tree surveys are administered in the fall of even calendar years (beginning in 2010).  Since 2010, the Bureau of Sociological Research (BOSR) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has been selected as the contractor for the administration of SHARP.   The NDE and NDHHS are responsible for identifying and monitoring factors that may affect the health, learning, and quality of life of Nebraska youth. SHARP allows information to be collected on all the key risk factors for youth at one time and provides insight into the health behaviors of our youth.


What is the School Health Profiles Survey?
The School Health Profiles (Profiles) is a system of surveys assessing school health policies and practices in states.  Profiles surveys are conducted every 2 years by  middle and high school principals and lead health education teachers. The School Health Profiles (SHP) Survey helps educators and health organizations monitor the current status of:

  • school health education;
  • physical education and fitness
  • school health policies related to HIV/AIDS, other STDs and unintended pregnancy
  • tobacco use prevention
  • nutrition
  • asthma management activities
  • Emotional and mental health and suicide prevention
  • and family and community involvement in school health


‘A cure of HIV is possible’: UNMC, Temple researchers eliminate virus in humanized mice

Jul 3, 2019 – For the first time since the 1980s AIDS epidemic began, researchers say they’ve taken an important step toward a possible cure for HIV, thanks to technologies developed in labs at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and Temple University.

People living with HIV currently have to take drugs every day for the rest of their lives to keep the virus at bay.

But the virus continues to hide out in some tissues, its DNA tucked into that of its host, ready to flare again if the drugs are stopped.

Now researchers at UNMC and Temple University say they have eliminated HIV for the first time from the genomes of a small number of humanized mice using a combination of two different therapies.

“This is proof of concept that a cure of HIV is possible,” said Dr. Howard Gendelman, chairman of UNMC’s pharmacology and experimental neuroscience department and a senior investigator on the study.

The researchers first used a slow-release, long-lasting formulation of HIV drugs developed at UNMC to suppress the virus in infected mice and then followed with a gene-editing therapy that Temple scientists in Philadelphia created to cut the virus’ DNA from their genomes.

Of the mice that received the treatment, about a third showed no signs of HIV infection for up to five weeks after treatment, according to a report published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications. The research is receiving international attention.

Both scientists acknowledged that plenty of work lies ahead, starting with more studies in animals. But they said combining the two therapies provides a “clear path to move ahead” in further trials in animals and possibly clinical trials in humans.

“What we’ve done is we’ve showed that HIV can be cured,” Gendelman said.

Kamel Khalili, chairman of the neuroscience department at Temple’s Lewis Katz School of Medicine in Philadelphia, said the fact that no technology since the AIDS epidemic began has been able to eliminate HIV has created the impression that the disease is incurable.

“This is the first time we’ve shown together the disease can be eliminated if we use a combination therapy,” said Khalili, the study’s other senior investigator.


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 Future Of Sex Ed website.


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.

“AIDS at 30: The U.S. Epidemic”

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 March 30, 2020 3:34pm