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Training teachers on HIV education

Aug 28, 2009

Teachers can make a significant difference in fighting HIV/AIDS argues Leadership in the HIV and AIDS Response: A Toolkit for Teachers’ Unions to Promote Health and Improve Education. This publication trains teachers to help people make correct health-related choices to prevent the spread of infection.

Leadership in the HIV and AIDS Response: A Toolkit for Teachers’ Unions to Promote Health and Improve Education

Authors: Scott Pulizzi and Laurie Rosenblum

Publisher: Education International, January 2009

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On a larger societal level, an increase in the number of HIV and AIDS cases diverts resources—such as money and personnel—from a number of sectors, including education. The pandemic also confronts teachers with a whole new range of tasks requiring new knowledge and skills.

Education is an effective social vaccine against the spread of HIV and AIDS. Teachers are called on to act voluntarily as counsellors and to provide necessary assistance to HIV-affected students; they are questioned on treatment and care; they are called on to raise awareness and open communication, to promote tolerance and compassion, and to combat stigma and discrimination.

This toolkit has been developed in the framework of Education International’s (EI) EFAIDS programme. It develops an engaging teaching approach that aims to help people learn to make the right health-related choices rather than mainly focusing on preventing infection and disease.

The EFAIDS programme takes into account the broader context of HIV and AIDS, such as the creation of gender-friendly schools; increased access to HIV voluntary counselling and testing (VCT), treatment, care, and support; and the fight against stigma and discrimination.

Because HIV and AIDS is a workplace issue, teachers’ unions have a responsibility to protect their members, fellow colleagues, and students, and to reach out to adults and children in their communities. Teachers must be proactive in taking leadership on HIV and AIDS.

One key objective of the toolkit is to provide training to help teachers learn to protect themselves from HIV. The other main objective is to help teachers gain knowledge and skills so that they can advocate for effective HIV and AIDS education for students in schools. This can be done effectively through union structures and through the strategies of research, training, policy development, advocacy, and publicity.

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