The World Starts With Me

HIV/AIDS: U have a role 2 play 2!

Learning Objectives

After lesson 10, focusing on Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) in general, this lesson is completely dedicated to HIV/AIDS. This is because HIV/AIDS is such a serious disease and has many personal and social consequences.

To get started, the students will look at the facts about HIV/AIDS. Then they will listen to some short interviews with people who are infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS. The students then work in groups to think about what action young people can take. Finally, they make a postcard to support HIV/AIDS-affected people.

There are three optional exercises. It would be useful take the students to a health clinic where they get information or to invite a health service provider to come to the school to give information. Another option is to have people affected by HIV/AIDS come and talk to the students, or, as a group, to go and visit a place that assists HIV/AIDS-affected people or children. The third optional activity is to acquire information related to HIV/AIDS from newspaper articles.



  • Students get to know the basic facts about HIV/AIDS, including ways of getting infected, and about the impact of the disease on people in physical and social ways
  • Students believe in the reality and the scale of the epidemic
  • Students are encouraged to have HIV testing voluntarily ; and
  • Students develop empathy for those infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS



Learning Objectives

Students can:


  • Explain the concepts of being seropositive or HIV-positive, HIV test, the window period, the difference between HIV and AIDS, stigma and explain that the virus damages the immune system
  • List the four bodily fluids in which HIV is apparent
  • List the three main ways for HIV to enter a person's body and correct myths about HIV transmission
  • list four high-risk behaviours for HIV transmission and two low-risk sexual practices
  • list two infections/diseases that people with HIV/AIDS often get
  • explain the difference between cure and treatment and show awareness that there is no cure for HIV/AIDS
  • explain that it can take any time between several months up to ten years for someone with HIV to develop the first AIDS symptoms, while they can infect other people during all this time
  • explain that if an HIV-positive person leads a healthy lifestyle, this may slow down the process of developing AIDS symptoms
  • explain how STIs and rape increase the risk of HIV transmission
  • explain that antiretrovirals reduce the chance of mother-to-child HIV infection
  • explain that taking a blood test is the only way to find out whether someone is infected with HIV
  • explain how HIV testing takes place, that HIV testing is anonymous and describe where they can get HIV testing and counselling
  • list two consequences for people living with HIV/AIDS if they are not treated well or stigmatized and list two
    things you can do for people who are HIV-infected or who have AIDS
  • describe where and how you can find information, support, advice and services related to HIV/AIDS prevention, testing, care and treatment
  • describe the role of government, NGOs and communities in fighting HIV/AIDS


  • show they are motivated to prevent HIV/AIDS and to contribute to the fight against HIV/AIDS
  • show empathy with people living with HIV or AIDS, endorse their right to support and health care and are motivated to support them
  • show they are convinced of the importance of visiting a VCT centre voluntarily


  • provide a scenario on how to provide other people with information and support to prevent them from being infected with HIV/AIDS
  • explain step by step how to prevent HIV infection
  • provide a realistic plan for supporting People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) and advocate for them in their community


  • demonstrate they can judge whether information is valuable or not

Computer, design and creative skills

  • present themselves to the public - make and send an HIV/AIDS postcard
  • choose a person to write to and compose a personal message for them
  • create a short and powerful message
  • use the template for a postcard
  • design a layout in Ms Word, using fonts, sizes and colours
  • use Word Art options in Ms Word
  • create a postcard by cutting and pasting from printed materials, drawing or painting
  • select relevant information from newspaper articles



Lesson Outline


1. Warming Up - Stand Alone (5 mins)
2. Presentation - HIV/AIDS: U have a role 2 play 2! (30 mins)
3. Listen to real stories (10 mins)
4. Group work: discuss what you can do (30 mins)
4. Individual work: make and send a postcard (30 mins)
5. Conclusion and homework (5 mins)

  • Optional: visit an HIV/AIDS clinic or orphanage or invite a health provider
  • Optional: invite someone infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS to visit the school
  • Optional: HIV/AIDS in the news (45 mins)




Results expedition
Check with students the challenges involved in trying to obtain a condom. Depending on in-class safety, you might invite students to tell something about their experiences in attempting to get a condom: how they went about it, whether they were successful, what difficulties they experienced.



Warming Up

Stand Alone (5 mins)


  • Students develop a sense of how important it is to be part of a group and how it feels to stand alone


All students stand in a circle. Call out a series of questions. If students answer 'yes', they go to the centre of the
circle. If they say 'no', they stay where they are. During the game, the questions are getting increasingly personal.


  • everyone who likes the colour red stand in the middle
  • everyone who comes from a rural area stand in the middle
  • everyone who is the first-born stand in the middle
  • everyone who is the last-born stand in the middle
  • everyone who plays sports stand in the middle
  • everyone who would like to be a peer educator stand in the middle
  • everyone who knows someone who has AIDS stand in the middle
  • everyone who wants to go to university stand in the middle
  • everyone who loves music stand in the middle
    and so on

You can make the questions as personal as you or the students feel comfortable with. Add as many questions as you like.




Presentation - HIV/AIDS: U have a role 2 play 2! (30 mins)


  • Students acquire knowledge and facts about HIV/AIDS


The students read the presentation.

The presentation covers the following topics:

  • basic information about HIV/AIDS
  • how to avoid it
  • what to do if you are HIV-positive
  • what to do if you are not
  • helping people living with HIV/AIDS
  • taking an AIDS test




Listen to real stories (15 mins)


  • Students get a better sense of what it is like to be HIV-positive and get a better sense of what they can do for people infected with HIV/AIDS or affected by it


All students listen to the five brief spoken interviews together (sound files in the tools section).


Interview no. 2

  • Explain to students that people who are infected with HIV/AIDS should be called 'People living with HIV/AIDS'. Avoid the word 'victim' to prevent stigmatization and to remove the impression that HIV infection is out of control.
  • Discuss the observation of the lady in this interview that 'men are just careless' and that they would infect women intentionally if they were HIV-positive.

Interview no. 4

  • Discuss with students whether they think AIDS is a major problem in Ethiopia as well.




Group work: discuss what you can do (30 mins).


  • Students have a discussion to help them internalize these stories and their knowledge of HIV/AIDS
  • Students think about what role they can play in supporting people infected with HIV/AIDS or affected by it.


Having read the presentation and listened to the spoken interviews, the students discuss in four groups what they think they can do for people infected with HIV/AIDS or affected by it in their own neighbourhood.

Students make a realistic action plan, addressing the following questions:

  • what activity is the group going to undertake?
  • who will benefit from it?
  • what do they want to achieve?
  • when are they going to do it?

If there is time, ask some students what they came up with. Each group can decide what activity they will carry out in the week to come.


Individual work: make and send a postcard (on the computer) (30 mins)


  • Students are encouraged to take personal responsibility for themselves and for their environment regarding the
    HIV/AIDS endemic
  • Students select a message they feel will support a person infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS


Step 1
Students choose a person who is infected with HIV/AIDS or affected by it, someone they feel needs some support. This can be a friend, family member, parent, teacher, but also someone they do not know, such as a person with HIV/AIDS in a clinic or an AIDS orphan (someone who has lost parents or guardians due to AIDS).

Step 2
Students frame a message to support this person and will make them feel less isolated or otherwise. Students produce a postcard with this message and decorate it: keep it short and powerful! Use the MS Word-template in tools section.

Individual work: make and send a postcard (on paper) (30 mins)

This postcard can also by created by cutting and pasting from printed materials, drawing, newspapers or painting.




Conclusion and homework (5 mins)

Round off the session, reminding students why we are together, summarizing the new things we have learned about HIV/AIDS and about reading newspapers and tell them what we will be doing in the next session.


Students make a start with their action plan (perhaps they may visit a patient, an orphanage, etc.). Or they can post their postcard or deliver it to someone. Ask students to find out whether there is an organization in their community that is working to fight AIDS, be it prevention, counselling or help for people living with HIV/AIDS. Specifically, students should find out where there is a Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) centre which they could visit.


Optional Activities

Optional I: visit a VCT
If it is possible for the group to pay a visit to a VCT, this would be highly beneficial. Research has shown that this can be an effective way of getting young people to stay safe.


Optional II: health worker from a VCT
Ask a health worker from a clinic or VCT to visit the group. They do not need to spend long but just show their face to tell the group that they would be welcome there. This can be very helpful for young people with doubts and worries. The trip can be undertaken in any lesson after lesson 7.


Optional III: HIV/AIDS in the news (45 mins)
Finding the main points of articles, judging the value of information, summarizing the main points and possibly, rewriting the scenarios or views.


  • Students learn to judge the value of information
  • Students deal with the problem hands-on
  • Students become aware of the extent of the problem: how and how many people are affected by HIV/AIDS


Students study and work with newspaper articles from online. <See Tools>

The different articles cover the following areas in relation to HIV/AIDS:

  • facts about HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia
  • infection or transmission of HIV/AIDS and prevention
  • the physical progression of HIV/AIDS
  • the social and economic effects of HIV/AIDS
  • steps being taken by the government, NGOs or the community to combat HIV/AIDS

Step 1
You can begin by pointing out that there is an enormous number of items about HIV/AIDS in the newspaper every day. Many of them are letters sent to the editor by readers or articles by journalists presenting points of view and commentary.

Explain the different types of articles that can be found in a newspaper, such as news articles written by journalists on national issues, regional issues and local issues. Besides, there is the opinion page, which presents commentary articles also written by journalists, and finally, there is a letter-to-the-editor section.

Step 2
If you are online:
students spend some 10 -15 minutes surfing the Ethiopian newspaper sites, using the search term AIDS, HIV or health.

This can also be done with printed newspapers if these are available. If neither the Internet nor printed newspapers are available, assure the students that there are many articles about HIV/AIDS in the newspapers every day and print or read the prepared articles in the tools section.

Step 3
Divide students into groups of three or four and give each group a newspaper article to work with. Each article has its own assignment attached.

This exercise might be too difficult for younger students. Perhaps you can then replace articles with items on AIDS from the Straight Talk Newsletter.

Step 4

Presentation and Discussion

The groups gather together and each group presents its results. The groups discuss the findings of each group. For guidelines to this discussion see the tools section.


Tools, Games & Materials

Presentation - HIV/AIDS: U have a role 2 play 2! (30 mins)

Handout - HIV/Aids: the Facts (word doc)

Sound Interviews

Dialog no. 1 - D is for Dignity
Dialog no. 2 - B is for Boyfriend
Dialog no. 3 - I is for Isolation
Dialog no. 4 - O is for Orphans
Dialog no. 5 - Y is for Youth

Newspaper articles and assignments

Article 1: USAID boosts AIDS fight By Allan Kamagara

The US Agency for Development has injected $ 448,000 (Shs 828m) in the fight against Mother to Child Transmission of HIV in Kampala private clinics. The money has been raised through a global initiative.
Population Services International (PSI) has launched a social marketing programme to help prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV in Uganda. The project aims at expanding access to voluntary testing and counselling services through private health care providers in Kampala, Mbarara and Bushenyi.

The project was launched Dec 9 at the Fang Fang Hotel. Minister of State for Health (General Duties) Mike Mukula was the guest of honour. 'One very important aspect of prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV is the promotion of voluntary counselling and testing,' he said. He said the ministry believes in the public-private partnership model because it goes a long way to improving health care.

Population Services International (PSI) has worked in more than 60 countries implementing innovative and cost-effective maternal and child health promotion and HIV/AIDS prevention. December 11, 2002 00:42:43


Working with your group, first read this article carefully and then answer the following questions:

  • What are the five main points of this article?
  • What will the money be spent on?
  • What do the government and PSI hope to achieve?
  • Do you think this initiative will help those who need it? Why?

Write down your answers in order to present your findings to the class.


Article 2: Living with AIDS - 'My father's brother raped me'
By Hussein Bogere

Grace Tumuhairwe is just 18. She has had HIV for over a year. And she got it when her real uncle defiled her.
It was in 2000. She came from Bunyaruguru to Kampala to look for her father after her mother had passed away. But in Kampala, her father was a poor man. 'He was running a bar in what ideally would have been his sitting room,' Grace told The Monitor. He could not accommodate her but sent her to stay with her uncle in Nakawa.

Soon after, her uncle's wife fell sick and was admitted to hospital. One night, Grace woke up to find her uncle in bed with her. She tried to raise the alarm, but he threatened to beat her, listing the number of times he had helped her. 'He said that my father was a fool to let me stay with him when he knew that his wife was away in hospital. That I was ready food served for him on a plate and there was no way he was not going to "eat" me.' Days after the fateful night, Grace developed wounds around her private parts. 'I feared to tell anybody about what had happened between me and my uncle. I feared my dad so much because he was a very strict man.'

Her groin wounds grew worse and a neighbour spotted her walking improperly. She got curious and asked her about it. She told her everything. The neighbour was shocked and told her that her uncle was HIV-positive. 'I almost fainted.' The neighbour took Grace to Naguru for medical examination. The doctor found she had syphilis and asked me to bring my father to see him.

But her father insisted that she had been bewitched and took her to a witch doctor. There, she was given some mumbwa as her medication. The neighbour was shocked to hear this and insisted that the father take her to the Naguru doctor. But the father said he had no money and they went to Mulago instead. There, she tested positive for TB. In the same year, she developed a harpeszosta (kisipi).

Then the rest of the family members stigmatized her. They said she smelled bad. 'It is my stepmother who felt sympathetic and took me to Mulago for a blood test. But I was told that they only deal with HIV patients.' They proceeded to KCC's Kawempe office, where a blood test proved that Grace had, indeed, been infected with the virus that causes AIDS. Her stepmother then took her to TASO Mulago where she started to get counselling. She was advised against getting involved with any other man, lest she would get re-infected or would infect another person.
Her advice to parents is not to trust their children with anybody, not even relatives. She has learned this the hard way.


Working with your group first read this article carefully and then answer the following questions:

  • What are the five main points of this article?
  • Is this a true story, why do you think so?
  • Could this happen in your village?
  • How did Grace's family treat her?
  • Why did they treat her this way?
  • Who was able to help Grace and how?
  • What would you do if you were Grace?

Write down your answers in order to present your findings to the class.



Article 3 Condoms minor cause of HIV decline
Professor Green: Fewer Ugandans are having casual sex.
By Charles Wendo

Taken from The MONITOR

Since the early 1990s, the level of HIV infection in Uganda has been dwindling. Now, contrary to what many people think, a new report says the decline resulted mostly from abstinence and faithfulness, and, to a lesser extent, condom use.
The report produced by a team of American and Ugandan researchers, is based on analysis of the changes in people's behaviours as seen in demographic and health surveys. In their report entitled What Happened in Uganda, the researchers say condom promotion 'has played a key but evidently not the major role' in reducing infection rates.
Their argument is that HIV prevalence started declining in 1992. This, they say, must have been the result of a reduction in new infections in about 1989. By that time, they argue, very few people were using condoms. The researchers, however, agree that increased use of condoms during the mid and late 1990s must have placed an additional muzzle on the virus that causes AIDS.

According to demographic survey reports, only 1% of Ugandan women had ever used a condom in 1989, but this increased to 6% in 1995 and 16% in 2000. The figure for men rose from 16% in 1995 to 40% in 2000. Professor Edward Green of the Harvard Centre for Population and Development Studies in the US says that large numbers of Ugandans must have heeded President Yoweri Museveni's earlier warning that 'you either abstain, be faithful or die.'
Greens, lead author of the report, says the fact that fewer Ugandans are having casual sex has contributed most to the decline. Various studies show that the number of people who have sex with more than one partner has decreased since the late 1980s. At the same time, young people begin to engage in sex at a later age, and the percentage of teenagers who are sexually active has gone down.

'There is some power in promoting abstinence and being faithful,' says Green. However, the latest demographic survey shows that, between 1995 and 2000, the number of unfaithful men and women has increased slightly.
Pastor Martin Sempa of Makerere Community Church says this relaxation is because people have forgotten about Museveni's original message of abstinence and faithfulness. He says the original billboards advocating abstinence in Kampala have either collapsed or gone rusty, and a new breed of condom-promoting billboards have replaced them. 'The whole anti-HIV/AIDS campaign has been taken over by the commercial interest of promoting condoms,' Sempa says.
Dr. Charles Atim, Director of Youth Alive, says: 'Many people who wanted to give us funds said "if you are not promoting condoms we shall not give you the money." We said no, we would rather be poor but stand by our grounds.'
But the Director General of the Uganda AIDS Commission, Dr. David Kihumuro Apuuli, says there is no single magic bullet against HIV/AIDS. Therefore, all available options should be used.

Working with your group, first read this article carefully and then answer the following questions:

  • What are the five main points of this article?
  • What percentage of men use condoms?
  • Which do you think is better: to promote condoms or abstinence?
  • Do you agree with Dr. Charles Atim that 'we would rather be poor but stand by our grounds'? Why/why not?
  • What does the concluding statement tell us?

Write down your answers in order to present your findings to the class.



Article 4 Museveni issues AIDS directive
WAR ON AIDS: Museveni
By Hamis Kaheru

New Vision - Tuesday, 19th Nov 2002

PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni yesterday said he had issued a directive that every head teacher must convene a school general assembly every two weeks to address students about HIV/AIDS. 'I have written to the ministry of health and ministry of education that the whole school should be assembled at the end of every two weeks to talk about AIDS. I didn´t say every week because that would be tiresome, but also I didn´t want it to be too rare' he said.
'And the headmaster or headmistress should not come to talk nonsense. They should be given guidelines from the ministry. This must be a pre-digested message from the centre which every head teacher must pass on to the school children who form a third of the population' he said.

Museveni was opening the 36th Commonwealth Regional Health Ministers' Conference at the Imperial Botanical Beach Hotel, Entebbe. About 33 delegates from 12 countries in East, Central and Southern Africa, plus donor representatives are attending the five-day conference. Museveni said he made the directive because the school children were highly mobile and did not get time to listen to educative messages on radio. He said he had categorised AIDS under 'diseases of ignorance' like stomach worms and measles which can be stopped through preventive intervention like immunisation, hygiene and nutrition.

'AIDS is not very infectious. You cannot get it by shaking hands and it is very complacent. It just stays where it is unless it is disturbed' he said amid a bout of laughter. 'If a disease cannot spread by insect bites, through breathing or casual body contact, then it should be easy to stop' a jovial Museveni said.

He said, 'They wait for 10.00 am when everybody is at school and adults are in the garden or at work, then they put the message on radio. There is a big advocacy programme going on which costs a lot of billions but the message has not reached its target,'.

Museveni decried the poor conditions of work for health workers, saying he personally pushed for last years increase of salaries for doctors and other medical workers.


Working with your group, first read this article carefully and then answer the following questions:

  • What are the five main points of this article?
  • How is HIV/AIDS transmitted if it is not through shaking hands?
  • Do you think it is a good idea to talk to students about AIDS every two weeks? Why/why not?
  • What information do students need about HIV/AIDS? Make a list.
  • Do you agree with President Museveni? Why/why not?

Write down your answers in order to present your findings to the class.


Article 5 Bwaise youth show ignorance of HIV
By Kiganda Ssonko

New Vision - Tuesday, 19th Dec, 2002

DESPITE the many sensitization programmes on the AIDS epidemic over the radio, in newspapers, seminars and workshops, some people are still largely ignorant of disease, and many are at risk.

On Tuesday, The New Vision found a group of youth in Bwaise, a Kampala suburb, to discuss the ways HIV infection spreads. One youth argued ignorantly: 'You know, fellow guys, it doesn´t mean that live sex is entirely dangerous even if you have it with an infested person. You can only get AIDS from live sex if you ejaculate into a lady, but if you withdraw at the point of ejaculation and the sperms just go out, then you are more than safe. This is tantamount to protected sex.'
Another backed up the same misconception: 'You are right. I have used that method for a long time on the most feared ladies you know in this area who have lost husbands to AIDS, and I am sure of my life safety. That is why I am looking healthy, together with my wife and children.'

Another one drove the whole group to laughter when he said that he washed a condom after using it and kept it for later use either on that day or some other day. 'As for me, I don´t just waste money anyhow on buying these condoms. I just use one, wash it and put it in a cool place ready for another time. I only throw it away when it develops a visible hole. This is also one of the safest ways,' he confessed.

Finally, one youth got out a packet of condoms from his pocket, bragging to his friends about being so protective of his life that he took them with him wherever he went, night or day. 'You see, I always move with my missiles. When I get a chance, I just put one on for satisfaction and safety. I do not throw them away until I have used them all in order to save my money,' he said.

Unfortunately, when The New Vision had a look at the condoms, their condition had deteriorated dramatically while they were stored in his pocket, and they could no longer provide safe sex.


Working with your group, first read this article carefully and then answer the following questions:

  • What are the five main points of this article?
  • Can you recognize the misinformation in this article?
  • Give the correct information on at least two points.
  • How do these young men use condoms in ways that wouldn't protect them?
  • What would you say to these young men given the chance?
  • Do you think many men have these ideas?

Write down your answers in order to present your findings to the class



Guidelines for newspaper assignments.

Each group should sit down together and take their time to read their article. If possible, print a copy for each individual. Give the groups about 10 minutes reading time and 10 - 15 minutes discussion time to formulate answers to the questions relating to the article. If the questions are too difficult for the students, perhaps you can simplify them or formulate other questions. You can also select your own articles from the local paper, if it is at hand.

Each group should choose two speakers to present their answers. The first speaker should read the five main points of the article for the whole group. The second speaker should then read the questions from the assignment relating to the article. The first speaker can present the answers the group has given. The whole group should be asked for their reactions and be encouraged to discuss points that come up.

You can ask the group if they agree with the statements made.







HIV/AIDS the Facts
Read this handout where you can find more facts about HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia and it answers some
frequently asked questions.

Handout lesson 11

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