April 2014

UNESCO Report Proposes New Ways to Target Youth in HIV Education Campaigns

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A new report from the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) attempts to address a major barrier to HIV/AIDS prevention in teens and children –education. The report, titled, “Charting the Course of Education and HIV,” provides the global health community with strategies to make HIV/AIDS education more relevant to young people.  These include moving away from ineffective and outdated approaches, such as using scare tactics to encourage sexual abstinence or discussing HIV in only scientific or moral terms. 

The report also stresses the importance of integrating life-skills education, as well as factors such as poverty, gender, and culture into the HIV curriculum. 

Education is seen by many as the key to preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS around the world. UNESCO examines the historical approach to HIV/AIDS education, and highlights obstacles and opportunities for improvement, as well as posing strategies to address the education gap.

The report concludes by suggesting that countries adopt a more holistic approach to informing youth about HIV/AIDS by making it a part of general health and hygiene education.

Read the full text of the UNESCO report here.