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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
FLORIDA: Miami Gardens Teen Rally Advocates Abstinence
Latoya Burgess
February 22, 2012
Miami Herald (02.16.12) - Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Peacemakers Family Center held its second annual PlanBe rally on Feb. 11 at a Miami Gardens church to focus on reducing teen pregnancy and STDs in Miami-Dade County.

Retired Miami Heat NBA player Tim Hardaway participated in the rally and advised the hundreds of teens that, in real life, "You need to buy milk, clothes, wipes - you have to understand that having fun comes with consequences." The father of three continued, "It's about being healthy and not having diseases and not getting pregnant." Rally participant Freddelle Menard - a senior at William H. Turner Technical Arts High School - reenacted a Maury Show episode on television about teen moms struggling to verify paternity. "Nowadays so many teens are promiscuous and end up on shows like Maury or Jerry Springer," said Menard. "This is a way to show them to focus mainly on education and what God wants." Founded by the Miami-based Trinity Church, Peacemakers provides social service programs to disadvantaged local residents. PlanBe regularly visits urban high schools, educating students about HIV, safe sex and teen pregnancy through a 16-lesson curriculum emphasizing abstinence, said Crystal Agnew, director of the program, which aims aims to reach 1,200 middle and high schools by 2016. PlanBe is federally funded through a $4.9 million, five-year grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Adolescent Health.

"We educate [students] on HIV prevention and the risks of engaging in any kind of sexual activities," said Agnew. "It's extremely important because Miami-Dade County has one of the highest HIV rates in the country."