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close this bookSchool Health Education to Prevent AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) : Teachers' Guide (UNESCO - WHO, 1994, 117 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentAcknowledgments
View the documentIntroduction
View the document1. The programme
View the document2. Teaching methods
View the document3. The classroom atmosphere
View the document4. Peer leaders
View the document5. Participation of parents and family members
View the document6. Test items for student evaluation
View the document7. Questions on HIV/AIDS/STD
Open this folder and view contentsUnit 1. Basic knowledge on HIV/AIDS/STD
Open this folder and view contentsUnit 2. Responsible behaviour: delaying sex
Open this folder and view contentsUnit 3. Responsible behaviour: protected sex
Open this folder and view contentsUnit 4. Care and support

1. The programme


The goal of AIDS education is to promote behaviour that prevents the transmission of HIV/STD. Learning the behavioural skills that are needed for prevention forms the major content of this curriculum.

[Describe here the curriculum: carrier subject(s), number of hours, link with other units of the subject(s), link with extra-curricular activities. You may use a table, for example, like the one presented on page 19 of the Handbook.]

As you can see, the curriculum is concerned more with the development of skills for responsible behaviour than with knowledge about AIDS.

The programme is based on the observation that biomedical information on the disease is not enough to convince people, including young people, to adopt healthy behaviour that prevents HIV/STD. What is needed is the motivation to act and skills to translate knowledge into practice.

Infection with HIV/STD occurs in specific risk situations or scenarios: a girl is pressured by her boyfriend into having sex, [...give examples from the situation assessment study]. Young people in these situations need to have the knowledge and skills to respond adequately, for example, how to say “no” or how to propose alternatives.

Through the achievement of a set of learning objectives, the curriculum aims to increase knowledge and to develop skills, positive attitudes and motivation.


Information that will help students decide what behaviours are healthy and responsible includes: ways HIV/STD are transmitted and not transmitted; the stages of the disease, especially the long asymptomatic period of HIV; personal vulnerability to HIV/STD; means of protection from HIV/STD; sources of help, if needed; and how to care for people in the family who have AIDS.

Skill development

The skills relevant to HIV/AIDS preventive behaviours are: self-awareness; decision making; assertiveness to resist pressure to use drugs or to have sex; negotiation skills to ensure protected sex; and practical skills for effective condom use. These skills are best taught through rehearsal or role-play of real-life situations that might put young people at risk for HIV/STD.


Attitudes to HIV/AIDS/STD include: positive attitudes towards delaying sex, personal responsibility, condoms as a means of protection; social attitudes such as confronting prejudice, being supportive, tolerant and compassionate towards people with HIV and AIDS; and sensible attitudes about drug use, multiple partners and violent and abusive relationships.

Motivational supports

Even a well-informed and skilled person needs to be motivated to initiate and maintain safe practices. A realistic perception of the student’s own risk and of the benefits of adopting preventive behaviour is closely related to motivation. Peer reinforcement and support for healthy actions is crucial, as peer norms are powerful motivators of young people’s behaviour. Programmes that use peer leaders are effective because peers are likely to be more familiar with youth language and culture. Parents can also motivate and reinforce the objectives of the programme and should be encouraged to play a part in their child’s sexuality education.

Learning objectives

The programme has been designed so that at the end of it, students will be able to: [present here the list of all the learning objectives].

The programme consists of four units:

Unit 1
Basic knowledge of HIV/AIDS/STD

This unit presents the basic information on HIV, AIDS, STD; how HIV/STD are transmitted; how they are not transmitted; methods of protection from HIV/STD; difference between HIV and AIDS; sources of help. Note that this unit takes about 25% of the curriculum. Objectives [...] are covered in this unit.

Unit 2
Responsible behaviour: delaying sex

Students, particularly at early ages, should be encouraged not to have sexual intercourse. Delaying sex to an older age usually results in more mature decisions about contraception and protected sex. Students need to discuss the reasons and supports for delaying sexual intercourse, and learn how to resist pressures for unwanted sex. Assertive communication skills should be learned through role-play of real-life situations that young people may encounter. They may also learn that affection can be shown in ways other than sexual intercourse. Objectives [...] are covered in this unit.

Unit 3
Responsible behaviour: protected sex

Some, perhaps many students may already be sexually active at the time they learn about AIDS in this programme. Others will need to know how to protect themselves in the future, when they will be sexually active. Using a condom every time one has sexual intercourse is a very effective way to avoid infection with HIV/STD. Teaching students about condoms does not mean encouraging them to have sex; young people are exposed to information about condoms through a variety of sources (friends, media, condoms displayed in shops, etc.), and need to have information and skills on how to use condoms correctly. Objectives [...] are covered in this unit.

Units 2 and 3 on responsible behaviour should take approximately 50% of the total classroom time given to the AIDS/STD programme. This is because prevention through responsible behaviour is the most important part of the programme, and the learning of skills tends to be time-consuming.

Unit 4
Care and support for people with HIV/AIDS

Many young people will come in contact with people with HIV and AIDS, perhaps in their own family and community. They need to learn tolerance, compassion, and ways to care for and support these people. Unit 4 covers objectives [...] and will take approximately 25% of the programme.

The programme activities

For each unit, a number of student activities have been developed (see the set of students’ activities). For each student activity, this book gives you detailed guidance for its use in the classroom.

Active learning by students is a major objective of the programme: many classroom activities involve participation by students, while some are mostly informational, [list here the activities of each unit with a rationale and a short description]

You may find some of the activities controversial, or the language too explicit for young people.

[Identify those activities that teachers may have difficulty in accepting, and give the rationale:]

Activity 6 - unit 2, for example, presents non-penetrative sex as a safer alternative to sexual intercourse. It is important that young people are aware that penetrative sexual intercourse is not the only way to obtain sexual pleasure...

Unit 3 is about protected sex and condoms. Although the curriculum stresses that delaying sexual intercourse is a very safe way of avoiding HIV and STD while young, we know that virtually all will become sexually active at some point in their lives. We have to equip our young people to protect themselves from infection when they become sexually active. Evaluation of sex education programmes has shown that knowledge of and access to contraceptives (like the condom) does not lead to increased sexual activity in young people. We should not forget that many of our students are already sexually active, and the message of “delaying sex” is of little relevance to them. Condoms also protect girls from unwanted pregnancies, which are a major problem in our country.

Using condoms for extra-marital relationships is also a form of responsible behaviour, because it protects the wife and the children from becoming infected: too many women, who themselves are faithful, are infected by their husbands who have other relationships, and often find out they are infected with HIV when their children get sick and die of AIDS.