|WHO Information Series on School Health - Document 6 - Preventing HIV/AIDS/STI and Related Discrimination: An Important Responsibility of Health-Promoting Schools (UNAIDS - UNESCO - WHO, 1999, 59 p.)|
This document is part of the WHO Information Series on school health promotion prepared for WHO's Global School Health Initiative. Its purpose is to strengthen efforts to help young people learn how to prevent HIV infection, AIDS and Sexual Transmitted Infections (STI). Over 50% of today's new HIV infections are occurring among persons under 25 years of age. In school, young people learn about sexuality, HIV, AIDS and STI in informal as well as formal ways. Therefore, we must ensure that our formal sources of learning provide accurate information that can reduce undue fear and prejudice and enable young people to protect themselves, both now and in the future. The HIV pandemic continues into the 21st century because of ignorance and our inability to help each other take better control over the circumstances that can lead to infection. Schools can help overcome both of these barriers.
WHO's Global School Health Initiative is a concerted effort by international organizations to help schools improve the health of students, staff, parents and community members. Education and health agencies are encouraged to use this document to prevent HIV infection, AIDS, STI and related discrimination and to take important steps that can help their schools become Health-Promoting Schools.
Although definitions will vary, depending on need and circumstance, a Health-Promoting School can be characterized as a school constantly strengthening its capacity as a healthy setting for living, learning and working (see Health-Promoting Schools box on the following page).
The extent to which each nation's schools become Health-Promoting Schools will play a significant role in determining whether the next generation is educated and healthy. Education and health support and enhance each other. Neither is possible alone.
Dr. Pamela Hartigan
Department of Health Promotion Social Change and Mental Health
World Health Organization
Dr. Eric Van Praag
Initiative on HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections
World Health Organization
Awa Marie Coll-Seek
Department of Policy, Strategy & Research
Division for the Renovation of Secondary and Vocational Education
A Health-Promoting School:
· fosters health and learning with all the measures at its disposal
· strives to improve the health of school personnel, families and community members as well as students; and works with community leaders to help them understand how the community contributes to health and education.