Teaching AIDS

12/01/2011 10:14 am ET | Updated Jan 31, 2012

Teaching kids about HIV and AIDS presents its challenges.

The pedagogy is a complex issue, from countries that don't like to discuss this subject to teachers who don't know how. World AIDS Day looks to address the myriad hurdles of informing the public since the first AIDS patient was identified 30 years ago by Robert Gallo. Today, according to the World AIDS Day report (PDF) there are about 34 million people living with HIV. However, since the advent of prevention education and anti-retroviral therapy, young people are leading the decline in new infections, with 21 high-prevalence countries reporting declines among people ages 15 to 24. Despite these gains, 2.7 million people became infected with HIV in 2010 and only half of the people eligible for antiretroviral therapy are receiving it.

That's why the EdCast has invited three HIV education specialists from UNESCO to discuss how the education sector has played an instrumental role in facilitating the drop in new infections among young people.

Over the course of 20 minutes, these specialists discuss the critical role for schools and teachers in continuing this global progress against the AIDS epidemic and education's work towards zero infections.

This is a must-listen for any teacher, parent or global citizen interested in education's impact on global public health (click on the podcast icon below to listen).

(co-produced by Jeff Jem-fong Lee)

The Harvard EdCast is a weekly series of podcasts that features a 15-20 minute conversation with thought leaders in the field of education from across the country and around the world. A production of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the Harvard EdCast is a space for educational discourse and openness, focusing on the myriad issues and current events related to the field.