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Doctor wants AIDS lessons back in Bibb schools | News

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Doctor wants AIDS lessons back in Bibb schools

A doctor at Mercer University's School of Medicine says he wasn't allowed to speak at Bibb County Schools about HIV and AIDS because his presentations were too graphic.

In the 90's, he was told they even encouraged sex.

Now, Dr. Harold Katner says Macon's Hope Center is seeing an increase in new AIDS cases.

Kristen Swilley sat down with Bibb County's Interim Superintendent about the possibility of a return visit.

Steve Smith, who was not Superintendent at the time, said he was partly responsible for bringing Katner to Central High School years ago.

Now he says Katner could return with some conditions.

Doctor Harold Katner is the Chief of Infectious Diseases at Mercer University's School of Medicine. He makes presentations in Houston County schools about sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS.

He once taught in Bibb but hasn't since the

90s. He says because he wasn't allowed to and says now the HIV/AIDS rate has spiked.

According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, Bibb saw between 63 and 100 new cases of HIV in 2012 and that between two and three thousand people living in Bibb have the virus.

Katner says he hasn't approached current Bibb County Interim Superintendent Steve Smith about making his presentations again because of the controversy it created in the 90s.

But Smith says he's open to resuming them as soon as this school year.

Smith says sex education is a part of the curriculum in Bibb County Schools. Today's lessons aren't as graphic, but he'd still be open to Katner's lectures if parents approve.

For Katner it's an obvious choice, "We've got to wake up. Either let a whole people die or population die or get infected with something that is very difficult to manage, very difficult to take care of and that's a lot more expensive than getting the facts and teaching folks about what this is."


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