10 messages for Children on HIV and AIDS

December is the month when Children for Health has a focus on HIV and AIDS. Our main task this month was to create our 10 top messages. They need to be as ‘generic’ as possible and answer the question…

If you were to teach 10 messages on HIV and AIDS to primary school aged children aged 9+, then what would these messages be?

Here is our first draft.

The messages are distilled from reflecting on our experience as primary school classroom teachers together with hours of reading and revising all the best documents we can find for example the great resource that is UNICEF’s Facts for Life.

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  1. Our body is amazing and every day there are special ways it protects us from getting diseases from the germs we breathe, eat, drink or touch.
  2. HIV is a germ called a VIRUS (the V is for VIRUS). It is an especially DANGEROUS virus that stops our body protecting itself well from other germs.
  3. Scientists have created medicines that stop the HIV from being dangerous but no one has found a way to remove it from the body completely.
  4. After time and without medicine, people with HIV develop AIDS. AIDS is a group of serious illnesses and these make the body weaker and weaker.
  5. HIV is invisible and lives in blood and other liquids in the body that are made during sex. HIV can be passed 1. During sex 2. From infected mothers to babies and 3. In blood.
  6. People protect themselves from getting HIV from sex by 1. Not having sex 2. Being in a faithful relationship or 3. By having sex using condoms (protected sex)
  7. You can play, share food, drink, hold hands and hug people with HIV and AIDS. It is safe and you will not catch the virus this way.
  8. People with HIV and AIDS sometime feel afraid and sad. Like us they need love and support and so do their families. They need to talk about their worries.
  9. To help themselves and others, people who think they may have HIV or AIDS must go to a clinic or hospital for testing and counselling.
  10. In most countries, people with HIV positive get help and treatment. A medicine called ‘Anti Retro-viral Therapy’ (ART) helps them to live long lives.

Theses messages can be used by educators to use with children, as SMS text messages for older children or for households, or ideas for campaigns, quizzes or games and on the social media.

Please do send us any feedback you have or ideas for materials that can be used to help inspire and mobilise children as advocates of good health.

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