|School Health Education to Prevent AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) : Teachers' Guide (UNESCO - WHO, 1994, 117 p.)|
|Unit 1. Basic knowledge on HIV/AIDS/STD|
Students should be familiar with: the window period; time from infection to AIDS; time from AIDS to death; signs and symptoms of HIV/AIDS.
What the teacher does
1. Provide a copy of this information sheet for each student, or put the information on the blackboard.
2. Ask the students the following questions:
· How long is the window period?
Usually 2-12 weeks but in some individuals it may be longer.
· What is not present in the blood during this period?
Antibodies to fight HIV, the AIDS virus.
· What would happen if you got tested during this period?
You would test negative because the test is looking for antibodies to HIV, which have not formed yet; the end of the window period is when there are enough antibodies to HIV in the blood that the test is able to detect them.
· Are people infectious (able to pass HIV on to others) during the window period?
During the window period, people may be very infectious, and can pass HIV on to others.
· How could they pass these infections on to others?
Through blood, semen or vaginal fluids or from mother to baby
· What symptoms is a person likely to have during the first few weeks after infection with HIV?
Immediately following infection there may be flu-like symptoms, with fever and swollen glands. Some people have fever, swollen glands, sore throat, skin rash or other symptoms in the days or weeks that follow infection.
· What is the possible length of time from infection to the beginning of AIDS?
It varies a lot from person to person - it can be as short as six months or as long as 10 years or more.
· What are the signs and symptoms during this period of time?
People usually have an asymptomatic period of several years in which they may have swollen lymph nodes but no other complaints. Then, they may start to develop symptoms like oral thrush or night sweats. It may then still take years before they develop full-blown AIDS.
· Is the person infectious during this period?
Yes, HIV can be passed to others.
· How long is a person likely to live once they get AIDS?
It varies; approximately six months to two years or more.
· What are the symptoms of AIDS?
Major weight loss; persistent cough; fever or diarrhoea; and many others. They vary a great deal from person to person.
· Are people with AIDS infectious?
Yes; any time after someone has been infected with HIV, whether they have symptoms or not, they can pass HIV on to others.
· What are ways in which the infection cannot be passed on?
Hugging, glasses and dishes, touching, toilets, insects, etc.
What should be done by parent(s)
(if the Parents Guide is used)
This activity is included in the Parents Guide under Information sheets. Students can explain the various parts of the activity to their parents.
· Teachers should be knowledgeable about the progression from infection with HIV to AIDS. The above questions and answers will help and should be reviewed before doing the activity with students.
· This activity may cause some anxiety in students. Teachers should be prepared to offer sources of help to students who may approach them with concerns.