Comprehensive Approach to HIV and AIDS 

Education leaders, administrators, teachers and all school staff have a profound role to play in combating the HIV and AIDS epidemic in the Caribbean. This region experiences the second highest rate of infection worldwide next to sub-Saharan Africa. 

In the classroom, in the hallways and in the school yard, schools transmit societal values. Educators can combat the stigma and discrimination faced by those with HIV and AIDS, and teach young people to embrace tolerance and diversity.
Teachers and students can also explore and redress the gender issues which contribute to the HIV and AIDS epidemic.  

Furthermore, education ministries, schools and colleges are workplaces where thousands of staff can benefit from life-saving information prevention, testing and counselling services.

Therefore, a comprehensive approach to HIV and AIDS in the education sector includes four fundamental and interconnected areas: policies; skills-based curricula and teacher training; a safe and healthy school environment, and access to services as illustrated in the figure below.

EduCan and others are dedicated to building the capacity of the education sector to implement this approach. Capacity building activities include: advocacy and leadership; policy development; coordinating with non-governmental organizations; strategic planning; training to implement HFLE curriculum and other components; and monitoring and evaluation. All these capacities are strengthened when applying the principles of GIPA—Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV and AIDS.

The figure below illustrates the elements of a comprehensive approach: