Our November Topic | HIV & AIDS | What Children Can Do?

Our November topic is HIV & AIDS.

Our 100 Health Messages for Children to Learn and Share are simple, reliable health education messages aimed at children aged 8-14, this includes young adolescents aged 10-14. We feel that it is especially useful and important to make sure that young adolescents are informed as this age group often cares for young children in their families. Also, it’s important to recognise and praise the work they are doing to help their families in this way.

The messages are arranged as 10 messages in 10 key health topics: Malaria, Diarrhoea, Nutrition, Coughs, Colds & Pneumonia, Intestinal Worms, Water, Sanitation & Hygiene, Immunisation, HIV & Aids, Accidents & Preventing Injuries and Caring for Babies & Young Children. The simple health messages are for parents and health educators to use with children at home and in schools, clubs and clinics.

Our messages on HIV and AIDS:

  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 that 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) having sex using condoms (protected sex).
  7. You can play, share food, drink, hold hands and hug people with HIV and AIDS. These actions are safe and you will not catch the virus this way.
  8. People with HIV and AIDS sometimes feel afraid and sad. Like everyone, 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 who are HIV positive get help and treatment. A medicine called anti-retroviral therapy (ART) helps them to live long lives.

These health messages have been reviewed by expert health educators and medical experts and are available on the Health ORB website too.

What can children Make, Do & Ask to better understand this topic?

Here are some ideas for activities children can do to understand more about our November topic and share the messages with others.

  • MAKE our own HIV and AIDS messages using our own words in our own language!
  • MEMORISE the messages so we never forget them!
  • SHARE the messages with other children and our families
  • COLLECT leaflets and information about HIV and AIDS and share these with our community.
  • INVITE a health worker to our school to answer our questions about HIV and AIDS.
  • FIND ways to help any children in our community who are affected by AIDS.
  • PLAY The Lifeline Game and find out about risky behaviours that could put us in contact with HIV.
  • CREATE and PLAY a True and False Game about the ways HIV can pass from person to person. Use the ASK questions at the end to help.
  • LEARN life skills to help us talk about special friendships and our sexual feelings.
  • PLAY the Fleet of Hope Game and find out which safe behaviours we would choose to protect us from HIV in our special friendships.
  • THINK of all the difficulties someone with HIV or AIDS has to face and what we can do to help.
  • ROLE PLAY having HIV and find what it might be like to be someone with HIV.
  • LISTEN to and discuss stories about people who are living with HIV and the problems they face.
  • MAKE a quiz to find out what we know about HIV and AIDS.
  • START a question box in our class for our questions on HIV and AIDS.
  • MAKE a poster for our school about HIV and AIDS.
  • MAKE a play about a girl called Meena or a boy called Rajeev and her mum who has HIV and how Meena persuades her mum to go to the clinic to get ART (anti-retroviral therapy) medicine.
  • START an HIV and AIDS Action club to raise awareness in our school and with our families.
  • ASK how does our immune system work? What foods help our immune system stay strong and ready for action? What is HIV and what is AIDS? What do the letters stand for? What happens when someone finds out they have HIV? What happens when someone develops AIDS? How is HIV passed from person to person? How is it not? How can we protect ourselves against it? How are people tested and treated for HIV? How can medicines help reduce the risk of mothers passing HIV to their babies? How does ART (anti-retroviral therapy) work and when should someone take it? When and how do our friendships become sexual relationships? How does a person use a condom correctly? (Male/female) What are the best ways to support our friends and family who are living with HIV stay healthy and well? Where is the closest clinic that helps people with HIV and AIDS

For more specific information on The Lifeline Game, the Fleet of Hope Game or an
example of a True or False Game please contact us or e-mail clare@childrenforhealth.org
To learn more about our December topic, see HIV & AIDS.