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Health Resources – AIDS Education

The worldwide spread of the HIV virus and AIDS infections creates a challenging educational issue for schools. AIDS is both a local public health issue and an international plague. In the United States, the nature of HIV and AIDS infection patterns varies widely among communities. Attitudes about sexuality education, AIDS education, cultural norms, and personal lifestyles also vary widely.

This collection is built around three objectives.

Providing information on the worldwide spread of HIV/AIDS and the nature of the epidemic, especially in nations which lack funds for prevention, education, or treatment.

Providing research-based suggestions on approaches to HIV/AIDS education that have proven effective in western countries.

Providing resources which schools, teachers, and counselors can use in teaching about HIV/AIDS.

We recognize that not all of the materials listed here will be appropriate for all schools, and that communities vary widely in their receptivity to information about sexual behaviors and identities. Our hope is that all of the material included here will be helpful to at least one teacher in one school somewhere.

The International Epidemic

The UN Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS – This is the final text of the agreement reached at the UN’s international conference on HIV/AIDS, held June 25-27, 2001. It summarizes the UN’s commitment and approach to dealing with HIV/AIDS as an international crisis, and it outlines the areas in which support is most badly needed.

World Health Organization Global Fact Sheets – Starting page for a collection of fact sheets on the incidence of HIV/AIDS in countries around the world. There is a separate, multi-page PDF file for each country listed. This could be a great resource for any comparative study of the impact of HIV/AIDS on different nations.

Twenty Years of AIDS – Recently released by the UN, this page presents a brief chronology of the AIDS epidemic, and a more detailed report on the current state of prevention and treatment efforts around the world.

PDF IconThe Twenty Year Chart – An Adobe Acrobat file showing the spread of HIV/AIDS over the past 20 years, with notations on major events in the prevention and treatment of the disease. (83kb)

Worldwide AIDS Statistics – An easily accessible look at the spread of HIV/AIDS around the world. Another good comparative resource.

AIDS in Africa – A British site summarizes the extent and implications of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in African countries.


Resources for AIDS Education

AIDS Education Lesson Plans – Two sample lesson plans from this British site demonstrate strategies that can make young people more receptive to open, nonjudgmental discussion of the issues surrounding HIV prevention.

HIV/AIDS Among America’s Youth – The Centers for Disease Control provides basic statistical information on HIV/AIDS incidence (and the lack of decline in new infections in this age group). This page also provides a listing of the types of outreach and educational efforts that have been proven most effective in teaching about HIV/AIDS and preventing behaviors that increase the risk of infection.

AIDS Education in School – A well-documented summary of the HIV/AIDS education strategies and approaches that have worked most effectively in western schools. The sources cited could provide additional reference material.

AIDS FAQ – CDC’s collection of frequently-asked questions about HIV/AIDS, including questions on general information, hoaxes and rumors, testing, transmission, and prevention. Generally, these pages provide detailed, factual answers for each question.

Comprehensive Prevention Strategies – This CDC Update report summarizes the results of a number of studies on the effectiveness of comprehensive strategies in influencing or changing behavior of young people in areas involving possible HIV/AIDS exposure. It highlights strategies that have proven most effective.

Talking with Young People – The Journal of the American Medical Association created this page to guide physician discussions with young people, but the strategies could work for teachers and counselors as well. However, the statistical information is significantly out of date.

HIV/AIDS Information for Young People – From The Body (an HIV information resource) this page is a collection of links to articles, publications, and a wide range of other information about HIV/AIDS education issues. The range of topics is extremely broad.

Peer Education Efforts – A collection of short summaries about peer education efforts in a variety of communities in different states. Many of the summaries include links or information for those interested in additional details.

Talking About Homosexuality in a School – A straightforward look at strategies for approaching a difficult topic from a British source. The goal of the process is eliminating myths, confusion, and fear on the part of students. There are interesting ideas here, even if this is a topic you don’t plan to address directly.

Whatudo – Developed in San Francisco, this site offers very straightforward information for young people on AIDS, sex, and the various behaviors associated with both. The content and wording pull absolutely no punches; please preview thoroughly before using or recommending this one.


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