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HIV & AIDS Lessons and Activity Plans

Resources for HIV and AIDS lessons and activities

This group of pages describes a number of activities that can be used to educate young people about HIV infection and AIDS. The activities are designed for use with groups and aim to be effective by involving young people. These activities, which are suitable for use with a wide range of young people, can be adapted for use with younger and older age groups.

In the years since the AIDS epidemic began, there have been many efforts to prevent or reduce HIV infection among young people through education. A great deal of educational materials have been produced around the world, which provide a good starting point when planning AIDS education for young people. The activities on these pages are from AVERT's ‘ AIDS: Working with Young People’; a useful resource with lots of activities that can be adapted for educating young people all around the world.

There are four basic types of activity

The greatest benefit will be obtained by combining activities in a short programme over a number of lessons. How you combine activities will depend on your experience and your group, as well as on the time available.

A basic programme with only limited time might consist of:

Lesson 1: The AIDS Quiz (Facts)

Lesson 2: Trans. Runaround (Transmission)

Lesson 3: Ten Differences (Attitudes)

A slightly more comprehensive programme might consist of:

Lesson 1: Three Statements about AIDS (Facts)

Lesson 2: Ten Differences (Attitudes)

Lesson 3: Talking About Sex (Sex)

Lesson 4: Trans. Runaround (Transmission)

Finally, a very comprehensive programme might consist of:

Lesson 1: The AIDS Quiz (Facts)

Lesson 2: Talking About Prejudice (Attitudes)

Lesson 3: Trans. Runaround (Transmission)

Lesson 4: Condom Leaflet (Transmission)

Lesson 5: Negotiating Sex (Sex)

Getting started

In order to get the most out of these activities you might need to think about the context in which you will be working on HIV/AIDS, and also about working with groups. Some further information to help you with this is provided.

Before you start work on HIV/AIDS

HIV/AIDS is a potentially sensitive subject and discussion about it can provoke strong views as well as highlighting the need for additional information. People working with young people need to be aware of the legal and cultural context in which they operate and how it might support their plans and affect young people.

  • Check out your own attitudes and values;
  • Check out your knowledge;
  • Check out what institutional, local or national policies and laws offer guidance and affect teaching around HIV/AIDS;
  • Check out what support or expertise there is within your institution or locality;
  • Reflect on the local culture and community attitudes towards HIV/AIDS and how that will affect what you aim to achieve and do.
  • There is a lot of information on this website (www.avert.org) which you can use to learn more about HIV/AIDS.

Starting HIV/AIDS work with groups

Effective teaching and learning involves open discussion, interaction between teachers and learners, and critical evaluation of points of view as well as the acquisition of new knowledge. In order to engage with groups in this kind of learning and on a potentially sensitive subject like HIV/AIDS, you need to think about how to make the group a safe place for you and young people to talk and interact together. You can think about the following:

  • Advantages and disadvantages of working in single-sex and mixed sex groups;
  • Agreeing ground rules with a group on confidentiality, behaviour, challenging and disagreeing with others, asking personal questions and so on;
  • Check out what institutional, local or national policies and laws offer guidance and affect teaching around HIV/AIDS;
  • Deciding if young people will be able to opt-out of activities if they want to.

Looking back on the programme

However a session or programme went it can be helpful to reflect on it to see what you can learn for future work and about your own skills.

It can be helpful to get feedback from the group. One way of doing this is to provide some sheets of paper on which young people can write one of the following before they leave the room:

  • Something that I've learnt
  • Something that I've enjoyed
  • Something that could have been better.

You can also reflect on your own experience, and it can be helpful to use the following questions:

  • Did everyone seem to understand what was going on and the information that was made available?
  • Did anyone find the exercise upsetting or offensive? What can be done to avoid this?
  • Which group members seemed most at ease, and why?
  • Did anyone ask a question you had difficulty answering?

Related organisations - HIV & AIDS education

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