World AIDS Day: Education is Prevention
World AIDS Day, observed every December 1, is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV.
World AIDS Day in schools and classrooms across the world
Education International works with educators across the globe to coordinate response to HIV and AIDS in schools, workplaces, and communities. Many use World AIDS Day as an opportunity to look deeper at HIV and AIDS in their countries and the difference that their work can make.
According to Education International, many schools around the world continue the tradition of dedicating a lesson or assembly to ‘One Hour on AIDS.’ This is a simple but effective lesson plan empowering teachers to talk about HIV and AIDS and has been used successfully with students and adults alike within schools and communities from Argentina to Zimbabwe.
The global theme of ‘Universal Access and Human Rights’ for World AIDS Day 2010 reflects the importance of a rights-based approach to HIV prevention and treatment.
Teacher unions across the globe recognize and embrace the critical work of educators and education support professionals to ensure that new generations of young people respect and promote the rights of those affected by HIV while being informed to make the right choices to protect themselves. Associations emphasize how stigma and discrimination hinder access.
The Uganda National Teachers’ Union (UNATU) is undertaking advocacy against cultural and socio-economic barriers to access. By sending HIV and AIDS awareness messages through mobile phone providers they are confident of getting the message across.
In Burundi, concern about the lack of confidentiality as a barrier to testing has led the union to host an awareness-raising workshop on voluntary and confidential testing for teachers, school administrators and personnel from the Ministry of Education and Public Health.
The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) will look to increase support to children orphaned by the AIDS crisis and are conducting home support visits to increase community solidarity and awareness-raising about the difficult situations of these children.
The AIDS Memorial Quilt
The AIDS Memorial Quilt (The Quilt) is the largest community folk art project in the world, a gripping record of the lives of more than 91,000 individuals from all walks of life stitched together to tell the unique and collective social story of our nations and the world's ongoing struggles, triumphs, and tragedies in the age of AIDS.
The NAMES Project unfolds sections of The Quilt in thousands of places throughout the year, and on World AIDS Day more than half of the Quilt will be on display in high schools and middle schools; in community centers, government offices and places of worship, on college campuses, in corporate lobbies, and a host of other venues throughout the United States.
Sources: Education International and WorldAidsQuilt.org.