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Lesson and Activity Plans: Learning About Transmission

This page describes two activities: 'Transmission Runaround' and 'Condom Leaflet', which help group members to learn about the transmission of HIV.

Transmission Runaround


To assess levels of awareness of how HIV is transmitted. To encourage group members to think about a variety of transmission routes.

What you will need

A reasonably spacious room, to allow for free movement.

A copy of Transmission Runaround 'True/False Sheet' for yourself, and the answer sheet. Two large sheets of paper clearly marked 'STRONGLY AGREE' and 'STRONGLY DISAGREE'. Pins.

Time: up to 60 minutes depending on the number of statements used and the size of the group.

What you do

  1. Put up the 'STRONGLY AGREE' and 'STRONGLY DISAGREE' sheets on the wall at opposite ends of the room.
  2. Explain to the group as a whole that you will read out a series of statements, one at a time. Each person is to think about whether they agree or disagree with it, and move to the appropriate side of the room. It is all right to stay in the middle if they are uncertain.
  3. Read the first statement. Once everyone has moved to their chosen place, ask members to choose one person near them and discuss why they are standing where they are.
  4. Now ask people to choose one person standing as far away from them as possible, and to discuss the statement with them, explaining why each has chosen to be where they are.
  5. Repeat the procedure with as many statements as time allows.
  6. Re-assemble as a group and, going round the group, ask each individual to identify one piece of information they are confused or unclear about. Ask members of the group to clarify the issues involved and intervene yourself where necessary.

Likely outcomes

At the end of the exercise, it will be clear what areas of uncertainty remain. Individuals will have had a chance to think about ways of HIV transmission, and to discuss these with other group members. People can sometimes become quarrelsome during this exercise so you may need to intervene to settle disputes.

True/False Question Sheet

  1. You can become infected with HIV by sleeping around.
  2. Injecting drugs will give you HIV.
  3. You can get HIV from toilet seats.
  4. If you are fit and healthy you won't become infected with HIV.
  5. Married people don't become infected with HIV.
  6. If you stick with one partner you won't become infected with HIV.
  7. Women are safe from HIV as long as they use a contraceptive.
  8. You can become infected with HIV from sharing toothbrushes.
  9. If you have sex with people who look healthy, you won't become infected with HIV.
  10. If you only have sex with people you know, you won't become infected with HIV.
  11. Anal sex between two men is more risky than anal sex between a man and a woman.
  12. You can become infected with HIV from kissing.
  13. A man can become infected with HIV if he has oral sex with a woman.
  14. A woman can become infected with HIV if she has oral sex with a man.
  15. Condoms can stop you becoming infected with HIV.

True/False Answer Sheet

  1. Sleeping around is not in itself risky, but having unprotected sex with an infected person is. By using condoms properly and consistently you can substantially reduce the risk of infection.
  2. Only if the needle or syringe has been contaminated with HIV. Injecting drug users should always use a clean needle and syringe.
  3. There are no known cases of HIV infection via toilet seats.
  4. It does not matter how healthy or unhealthy you are, if you engage in risky activities you stand a chance of being infected.
  5. This depends on the partners involved, what they did before they met, whether either has unprotected sex outside of the marriage or injects drugs using contaminated equipment. Marriage by itself offers no guarantees of safety.
  6. As for No 5.
  7. Only condoms offer women protection against HIV, and even condoms cannot offer complete safety. Other forms of contraception do not offer protection from HIV.
  8. There is no evidence of transmission via this route, but it is sensible not to share toothbrushes for general health reasons.
  9. Most people with HIV will look perfectly healthy. Looks are therefore a useless way of assessing risk.
  10. Knowing someone well offers no reliable guide to whether or not they are infected with HIV.
  11. Anal sex is equally risky regardless of whether it takes place between two men or a man and a woman.
  12. There is no evidence of transmission in this way, although kissing when there are sores or cuts in the mouth may pose some risk.
  13. HIV is present in cervical and vaginal secretions as well as in (menstrual) blood, so there is the possibility of transmission this way.
  14. HIV is present in semen so there is a possibility of transmission in this way.
  15. Condoms used properly will help to prevent transmission of HIV from an infected partner to an uninfected partner. Condoms are not 100% safe though. Use a lubricant which is water based, as oil based lubricants can weaken the condom. When buying condoms check the 'sell by' date.

Condom Leaflet


To consolidate awareness about the correct use of condoms.

What you will need

Chairs in a circle; a packet of condoms; something to demonstrate putting the condom on, such as a vegetable; paper and pens. If you have not demonstrated condom use before then it can be helpful to practice before. The information on the using condoms page may be useful.

Time: up to 60 minutes, depending on the size of the group.

What you do

  1. Explain that participants will be producing leaflets or posters on how to use a condom correctly. You are going to show them and they are going to take notes.
  2. Hand out paper and pens.
  3. Demonstrate condom use on the vegetable or whatever else you have.
  4. Ask each participant, or small groups of 3 or 4, to design a poster or leaflet showing people of their age how to use a condom.
  5. Discuss the finished products and pin them up.

Likely Outcomes

Some of the techniques associated with condom use will be clarified, and a series of resources will have been produced which can be used with other groups, or left to provoke discussion and debate.


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