NASUWT calls for better HIV education ahead of World Aids Day
Schools need better training and support to educate young people about the prevention of HIV, the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union, believes.
Ahead of World AIDS Day tomorrow (1 December), the NASUWT is supporting the call by the National AIDS Trust for better guidance and training for schools in tackling the issue of HIV through the curriculum.
Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:
“Education has a critical role to play in generating greater awareness among young people of how to protect themselves against HIV and also in tackling the discrimination and ignorance which those living with HIV and their families often encounter.
“However, at present schools in England are only compelled to teach the basic scientific facts of HIV transmission and there is no compulsory element of HIV education at all in schools in Scotland.
“In Wales and Northern Ireland where sex and relationships education is part of the curriculum, there is a dearth of detailed guidance and support for schools in educating pupils about the issues surrounding HIV.
“Providing young people with opportunities to learn about the realities of HIV will help to keep them safe and healthy in future and will also help to tackle the stigma which still surrounds the disease.
“Schools need support in providing high-quality training to ensure they can teach young people about HIV in a confident and sensitive way and to help to ensure that discrimination against those with HIV becomes a thing of the past.”
Notes to editors
The National AIDS Trust has more information on the current position on HIV education in schools and how it could be improved at http://www.nat.org.uk/Our-thinking/Public-understanding/Schools.aspx
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