XVIII International AIDS Conference


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What does good quality sexuality education for HIV prevention mean? Developing a minimum package for schools, teachers and health educators

Presented by Doug Kirby (United States).

D. Kirby1,2,3,4

1ETR Associates, Scotts Valley, United States, 2UNESCO, Section on HIV and AIDS, Paris, France, 3WHO, Adolescent Health, Geneva, Switzerland, 4UNICEF Head Office, HIV and AIDS, New York, United States

Issues: Few young people receive anything approaching adequate preparation for adult sexual life. Good quality sexuality education provides young people with age-appropriate, culturally relevant and scientifically accurate information together with opportunities to explore attitudes and values and to practice the skills required for making and acting upon informed decisions about their sexual lives. Schools provide an important opportunity to reach large numbers of young people with sexuality education, as well as an appropriate structure within which to do so.
Description: Published by UNESCO in partnership with UNAIDS, UNICEF, UNFPA and WHO in December 2009, the International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education (Vol I and II) sets new international benchmarks and provides advice for developers and implementers of school-based sexuality education programmes.Based on a rigorous and current review of evidence on the effects of sexuality education programmes, the publication is a key resource for education and health sector decision-makers and professionals. Volume I focuses on the rationale for sexuality education and provides sound technical advice on characteristics of effective programmes. A companion document (Volume II) focuses on the topics and learning objectives to be covered in a 'basic minimum package' on sexuality education for children and young people from 5 to 18+ years of age and includes a bibliography of useful resources.
Lessons learned: A review of practitioner experience and curricula/guidelines from countries including: Botswana, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Thailand, the USA and Zambia, highlighted critical lessons for policy makers and professionals concerned with sexuality education and HIV prevention.
Next steps: These included the need for partnerships between key stakeholders at school and community level, a commitment to working with teachers and recognising the realities faced by children and young people. At a technical level, it also highlights key characteristics for successful programming and implementation.

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