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NE: Health director defends controversial STD plan

By   /   December 10, 2012  /   27 Comments

By Joe Jordan | Nebraska Watchdog

OMAHA — No law in Nebraska stops a minor from being examined and treated for sexually transmitted diseases without parental consent, according to the director of the Douglas County Health Department.

STD PLAN DEFENDED: Adi Pour, Douglas County health director

Following an exclusive, attention-grabbing report by Nebraska Watchdog, Health Department Director Adi Pour emphasized that when it comes to stemming STDs, “NO state requires parental consent,” or requires that parents be notified that their child has received health care, “except in limited or unusual circumstances.”

In an email responding to a series of questions from Nebraska Watchdog, Pour did not detail what those “unusual circumstances” are. She did confirm that treatment through the county would be available at low or no cost to those who test positive.

Last week, Nebraska Watchdog first reported on a stormy county health meeting where Omaha’s extremely high rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea were the targets of a now controversial plan.

At the meeting, Pour announced an $88,000 grant from Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

The money — private funds, not tax dollars — would buy test kits allowing young people to test themselves for STDs without telling their parents.

One woman in the audience appeared critical of the “don’t tell your parents” policy. Her questions irritated County Commissioner Mike Boyle, who got into a shouting match with the woman. Both repeatedly called each other” ignorant” and the woman dropped an “f” bomb.

As for the grant, Pour told Nebraska Watchdog the county sought out the money. She said before the project is OK’d “focus groups and community discussions” will be held.

Pour said according to national statistics 70 percent of those infected with STDs show no symptoms.

Contact Joe Jordan at joe@nebraskawatchdog.org.

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  • spike

    Still living in the Stone Age, is Nebraska! Now let’s try again to push CONDOM use to Stop the problem @ it’s head! Pun intended.

  • http://www.facebook.com/susan.smith.73157 Susan Smith

    Interesting that the County sought the funding BEFORE the project was given approval and focus groups and community discussions were held. This indicates to me that the focus groups and community discussions are a matter of formality…giving the citizens the perception that their voice really counts.

    http://watchdog.org/63896/exclusive-nasty-name-calling-at-county-meeting-hear-it-here/ Lodge your complaint one of two ways call/email info at http://www.douglascounty.ne.gov/Commi... and/or express your disgust at their next board meeting 9am on Tue. 12/11/2012 on the second floor of the Civic Bldg at 18th & Farnam St.

  • Joan

    When I worked in healthcare I worked with children ages 10 thru 18 and I can tell you from experience that the majority of parents do not know their kids are sexually active. To avoid pregnancy these kids are performing anal and oral sex. STD’s can be passed this way also. STD’s are a serious problem amoung this age group. Parents who are in denial are setting their children up for serious life time outcomes.

  • ProgressiveOasis

    Another case of government trying to fix a problem that can and will resolve itself. Sex education starting in grade school was supposed to “fix” the teenage pregnancy and teen STD problem, but like with reading writing and arithmetic, the schools failed. Let the teens who have STDs seek out testing and treatment. If they don’t, they will be rendered sterile and will be unable to pass their defective genes on to another generation of Obama/Democrat voters….problem really solved permanently.

  • Kent Goertzen

    Another troll post.

    What happened to you, that you get off on posting this stuff. Is your life so horrible this is the only pleasure you get. Causing misery and posting ridiculous comments?

  • Kent Goertzen

    More like bury your head in the sand if you agree with Susan here and object.

    No surprise at all as homophobic and bigoted you are, that you would oppose something like this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004018188646 Gary Jorgens Sr.

    How stupid can you be? How many people could the carrier pass the disease onto? Might even get to your family and friends. Might even take out the Rep-tile and T.P.er’s. You need to get rid of your chip and realize you lost the election and the majority shall rule. Go Obama!!!!!!!

  • JoeSixPack56

    What do you want people to complain about Susan Smith?
    What plan do you have to stop the epidemic rate of STD’s in Douglas County?
    Were you the woman at the last meeting calling County Commissioner Mike Boyle “ignorant”?

  • JoeSixPack56

    Susan Smith, did you know that left untreated some STD’s can make a person go mad?
    70 percent of those infected with STDs show no symptoms.
    Have you been tested lately?

  • Lori

    I didn’t find this to be a ‘political’ article. BC/BS are the one’s giving the grant money for the STD testing. Many schools have used ‘government money’ (by the Republicans) for an abstinence only program that has not worked. The Omaha area has had a high Chlamydia rate for years now. Unfortunately, our youth take risks. They always have, they always will. If teens are too embarrassed to talk with their parents about STD’s and/or sexually related issues, but are STILL going to take these risky behaviors, don’t you think it’s a good idea for them to be able to be tested and/or treated? This has nothing to do with Obama or Democrats. It only makes one sound out of touch with reality to blame a political party and/or president for a teen having unprotected sex.

  • Joan

    ProgressiveOasis I thank God every day that some one like you was not my parent. What an embarassment and shame that todays society has such an ignorant individual in existance.

  • I am just a mom

    The discussion surrounding the implementation of this project did not occur in front of the full board, at least to my knowledge. It is my understanding that should the minor decide not to accept “treatment” in the event of a positive result for STD, then he or she will continue to be “infected”. At no time, would a parent ever be notified. Since when It is inappropriate or somehow small minded to want to know where your children are, what they are doing and if they have a sexually transmitted disease? Since when is it a political decision (liberal versus conservative) to want to be informed as to medical conditions and/or treatment obtained by your own child? Since when have we parents all become so stupid and incompetent that we cannot conduct conversations with our own children or even accept responsibility for obtaining medical care for them? Somewhere along the line Nebraska, home to a conservative and common sense populace, became the NANNY state. No need for parents, just let the state take care of your children. By the way, I was at the meeting in question, and I attend most of the Douglas County Board meetings so I feel at least somewhat informed as to the events that transpire at these meetings.

  • midwestandglad

    And how is it intelligent to keep parents in “denial” by not telling them once you knew the kid had an STD? Does it occur to anyone that the parent just might listen once given a reason to be concerned about their child?

    Or maybe they aren’t in “denial” at all. Maybe they are divorced and one parent is lenient (know alot of those), maybe they both work and just don’t realize what is going on when they aren’t home. I can bet if you told a parent their kid was using drugs that parent would react. I’d bet the same parent would react if they knew their kid was having unprotected sex. This law doesn’t even give them a chance.

    And, I don’t think it’s a secret today that oral and anal sex is how they get around getting pregnant. Back in my “day” (in high school) I had no idea what oral or anal sex was let alone as much as an 11 year old knows today. (french kissing was a major deal and I’d also bet STD’s weren’t a problem back then) I’d offer that many parents do not realize the extent to which kids apply the knowledge they have today to their own immature sex lives. And, as a mom of 4 boys, I want to mention that many girls are the aggressors and they don’t much care about guarding their virginity or their integrity.

  • Jazzee

    you made me laugh

  • Jazzee

    great question–why have parents stopped parenting? and turned their children over to the schools and big nanny gov????? I can’t figure it out never thought I would see it actually….so sad

  • ProgressiveOasis

    “they always have, they always will”…now there’s someone who is “out of touch with reality”. Value-less sex education coupled with “no consequences” of engaging in casual sex with multiple partners has produced a large number of absolutely clueless young people passing around STDs, some with life long consequences. All I pointed out was the rock bottom truth. If they don’t seekout diagnosis and treatment of their own accord, then eventually society will benefit from their failure to do so by not producing another generation of useful idiots…or future progressives…same thing. Nature hates stupidity and tries to weed it out of the gene pool at every turn…progressives are at the top of that “out of the pool” list.

  • ProgressiveOasis

    How do you know I wasn’t your father??? Your mother got around quite a bit.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Harbert/100001406372795 David Harbert

    Too many parents are not doing their parental jobs. Public schools sex education can be described as horrable, with the bible belters always in the wings. The “great” state of Nebraska, (Republican leadership) only wants to cut taxes and give even bigger cuts to try and lure companies here. State HHS is more of a maze of cronisium – putting people in charge that think keeping a child in a home where the parents cannot take care of themselves much less a child – is a success. Is it any wonder that children dont talk to their parents about sex?
    Our teens and younger have also seen great examples of “adult” behavior in Congress, and on Fox “news”, and MTV.

  • http://www.facebook.com/susan.smith.73157 Susan Smith

    Kent, would you please tell me how in the world you came to the conclusion that I am a homophobic and a bigot? I can’t wait to hear how you connect the names you called me with notifying parents of their children’s std tests.

  • http://www.facebook.com/susan.smith.73157 Susan Smith

    Joe, I’m glad you are okay not being informed of serious medical matters concerning YOUR children. To each his own.

  • http://www.facebook.com/susan.smith.73157 Susan Smith

    I want concerned citizens/parents to be able to voice their concerns about programs without being verbally attacked by elected officials.

  • http://www.facebook.com/susan.smith.73157 Susan Smith

    Well said! Thank you.

  • Watching_From_Lincoln

    STD’s WERE a problem back then. Ignorance knows no bounds of time or place. What kind of “reaction” from these parents? Beating the living tar out of their promiscuous son or daughter? Shunning by their backwards church? Locking them in the house? Problem is that here in Nebraska there is FAR too many far-right “churches” that preach ignorance to their followers, who are then adamant about making any kind of reproductive education – public school or at home – off limits, so you wind up with all these ignorant preteens, teens and young adults who don’t have a clue about reproduction, STD prevention, unwanted pregnancy prevention or any thing else having to do with sex – other than their hormones are raging and the biological urge to reproduce is running rampant. Just Say No is NOT an answer!

  • Watching_From_Lincoln

    Spoken like a truly ignorant person. If you have children, I pity them. Perhaps when they come down with an STD your tune will change. Oh, I forgot, Conservatards don’t have sex, they reproduce in twin beds and the stork brings them their young (which they usually eat) in little cloth bundles.

  • midwestandglad

    No, you are ignorant! (OK that was a joke, lame as it might be)

    Gotta say if you think that the majority of parents are going to beat their children over STD’s then that would blow my argument that foster care takes too many children out of their homes in Nebraska. If you are right, Nebraska should take more kids!

    Next, I am a Christian conservative (Catholic) whose kids all went to private schools (3 different ones) and I don’t know who you are referring to when you say “right wing churches” but my kids all got sex education IN school and at home. It included STD’s etc.

    Just say NO does work if you taught the kid some values. …not going to say it works for all because this is a family value thing, something you don’t just SAY and then hope for the best. It is a constant discussion about their integrity and whether handing over something as intimate as their bodies to just anybody is consistent with their values. We taught our kids that the one thing no one can take from them is their reputation and not to just give it away.

    Young kids do have brains ya know…some of them aren’t so eager to give in to their hormones believe it or not. And plenty of parents (me included) talk to their kids when it is apparent they are thinking of having sex. There’s plenty of questions I’d ask them and I posed those questions before I ever had to have the discussion. Are they in love or in lust? My hubby used to tell the kids at his frat to remember that the woman they are going out with may be their frat brothers future wife…treat her accordingly…..

    And I told my kids they can ALWAYS come to me and I’ll always be there for them no matter what. Parents also know if their kid is seeing a member of the opposite sex and they KNOW what kids might do eventually.

    Give the parents some credit. I am not the exception.

    If my child would have had a one night stand I’d be shocked because it would be completely out of character but you act like kids are doin it with anyone wherever and whenever. Not true in my collective experience with several teens.

    With that said, no matter what, the PARENT gets to decide how to handle it. And when someone proves to me that 9 out of 10 parents beat their children to death over an STD or a pregnancy I might agree with the law. (hmm haven’t seen any of those deaths in the news)

    When you show me what “right wing churches” are hoping that kids don’t have sex and believe in telling kids nothing or threaten to beat them I might agree with you. That would be some fringe nutcase church, none that I know of. This is just something liberals say which is a blanket general (untrue) statement. And lets see the stats, do ALL public school kids have no STDs and no pregnancies and ALL private school or religious taught kids have all the STDS? I think its safe to say NO.

    This is an issue with no “right” way to address it. Parents should be the first line of defense and if they think its OK their kid has sex…well, nothing we can do about it. I’d again wager MOST parents will do the right thing…consistent with their family values (which does not include beating their kid) when it comes to this issue. Besides, when did someone appoint the city council to save the world?

    Just saying what you believe is hardly evidence of anything. Have you got kids? What was your experience?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Harbert/100001406372795 David Harbert

    Some people see a problem and start to act as quickly as possible for some effect. Some stand there and stare blindly at the headlights raceing towards them.
    Why have a meeting before the donating group commits to the idea?
    If you trust your children so much, what do you have to worry about?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Harbert/100001406372795 David Harbert

    Religions have softened the message to appeal to the more educated masses today, but their far right rednecks, (is that how Ne. ended up as big red?), often slip and let the true message out. Just like the christian spanyards when they invaded south america, “We will save you or we will kill you”.