Hiv/aids and Education

Rachel_teaching_HIV_AIDS_class_to_students_in_LimpopoHIV/AIDS is the global issue of new era of science and technology and we should know that the problem of widespread AIDS is challenge for human survival. Children and young people need to be equipped with the knowledge, attitudes, values and skills that will help them face these challenges and assist them in making healthy life-style choices as they grow. Education delivered through schools is one of the ways through which children can be helped to face these challenges and make such choices.Providing information about HIV (transmission, risk factors, how to avoid infection) is necessary, but not sufficient, to lead to healthy behavioral change. Programs that provide accurate information, to counteract the myths and misinformation, frequently report improvements in knowledge and attitudes, but this is poorly correlated with behavioral change related to risk taking and desirable behavioral outcomes. Education can be effective in the more difficult task of achieving and sustaining behavior change about HIV/AIDS. The schools can either be a place that practices discrimination, prejudice and undue fear or one that demonstrates society’s commitment to equity.School policies need to ensure that every child and adolescent has the right to life education; particularly when that education is necessary for survival and avoidance of HIV infection.HIV infection is one of the major problems facing school-age children today. They face fear if they are ignorant, discrimination if they or a family member or friend is infected, and suffering and death if they are not able to protect themselves from this preventable disease.It is estimated that 40 million people, worldwide, are living with HIV or have AIDS, at least a third of these are young people aged 15-24. In 1998 more than 3 million young people worldwide became infected including 590,000 children under 15. More than 8,500 children and young people become infected with HIV each day. In many countries over 50% of all infections are among 15-24 years old, who will likely develop AIDS in a period ranging from several months to more than 10 years.

The Benefits of a Confidential HIV Test

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There are many reasons why a confidential HIV test may be something to think about.

Sex

We may as well get directly to the point! Whether it is casual, recreational or part of a sincere and deep relationship, sex for you is hopefully enjoyable and an expression of your desire, passion and feelings for another person. Unfortunately, HIV (and other sexually transmitted diseases or STDs) just cant be thought about in the same positive terms. They can be transmitted during various forms of sexual activity and its advisable to take the subject seriously.

Since the 1980s and societys first awareness of the problem, HIV has often been discussed in terms of sex. Its worth keeping in mind though, that it can also be passed through other mechanisms such as the sharing of non-sterile hypodermics in drug use or by the transfusion of infected blood.

Sex and HIV Some Facts

HIV may be passed from one partner to another during any unprotected sexual activity that involves penetration and the exchange of bodily fluids. That applies to either gay or straight sex, and people of either gender can infect each other.

HIV may remain relatively dormant in the body for many years with the infected person having no symptoms or even any awareness that they are infected unless theyve had a confidential HIV test of course. Even if theyre entirely asymptomatic, an infected person may be able to unwittingly infect their sexual partner.HIV may progress into AIDS over time, though anti-viral treatments may prove effective in stabilizing the position in some cases.

Protection

There are really only two ways you can be sure that you wont contract HIV through sex:

Lead an entirely celibate lifestyle.

Only have sex with someone you know is not carrying the HIV infection.

Most experts agree that using a condom may significantly reduce the chances of infection but that it is not 100% foolproof or guaranteed. Its also worth avoiding the confusion that can sometimes arise over the use of the term protected sex in the context of contraception and HIV protection. Many contraceptive methods of protected sex offer little or no protection whatsoever against HIV.

The Confidential HIV Test

Unfortunately, problems in life tend not to just go away because you ignore them. The fact is that if you have previously engaged in unprotected sex or other high-risk activities (e.g. sharing syringes), then there is a chance, though hopefully a relatively small one, that you have HIV. It may therefore be advisable to get yourself checked out through a confidential HIV test.

Knowledge and attitude of people towards voluntary counseling and testing for hiv

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Voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) is one of the many different strategies stipulated in the policy and strategy documents, for the prevention and control activities that are planned to be carried out and currently undergoing at the national level ( MOH, 1998). The role of voluntary counseling and testing can play on HIV/AIDS prevention and control is said to be multifaceted. Many indicated that VCT can be considered as entry point to prevention and care, medical care, for preventing mother to child transmission of HIV infection (PMCTC) interventions, for ongoing emotional and spiritual care and social support (UNAIDS, 2000). Hence, the need for expansion of voluntary counseling and testing service and stimulating its utilization is outlined as a priority intervention area and as an entry point for HIV prevention, through creating more personal awareness and care (NAC, 2001).

n view of the widely acclaimed and important contribution, voluntary counseling and testing can have in the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS, and the observed growing demand for the service (NAC, 2000), HIV testing may have far reaching implications and consequences for the person being tested. Although there are important benefits to knowing one’s HIV status, HIV infection in many communities, is a stigmatizing condition and this can lead to negative outcomes for people following testing. Stigma may actively prevent people accessing care, gaining support, and preventing onward transmission. Many people are afraid to seek HIV service, because they fear stigma and discrimination from their families and communities(UNAIDS, 2000). Furthermore, fear and stigmatization associated with HIV testing can minimize public acceptance of the voluntary counseling and testing, dwarfing the role the service can play in prevention and control initiatives.

Apart from the social implication the HIV testing could have and the weakness observed in the existing service delivery points (NACS, 2000). Findings of the few studies conducted in Ethiopia revealed that, other factors like lack of awareness about the mode of transmission of the disease (HIV/AIDS), lack of perceived benefit for having the HIV test, limitation related with the economic and physical access to the service etc, are some of the factors that can contribute for the low utilization of the already available services (Michael, 2001).However, none of the very few studies conducted so far in the country tried to give a comprehensive overview about the attitude and knowledge of people towards VCT of which is a widely acclaimed but underutilized service.

Voluntary HIV counseling and testing (VCT) is then a process by which an individual undergoes counseling enabling him/her to make an informed choice about being tested for HIV. This process is also aimed at helping them to cope with stress and to make personal decisions related to HIV/AIDS (MOH, 2002)