There is so much potential and promise if the education sector and persons living with HIV and AIDS work together on a range of activities from policy development to classroom presentations, community outreach and advocacy for and access to services. Research has shown that getting to know a HIV positive person is one of the most powerful ways to reduce stigma and discrimination. Such stigma can inhibit people from seeking the necessary counselling, testing and treatment that can save their lives. GIPA—the principles that promote the Greater Involvement of Persons Living with AIDS—must be applied in ministries of education and schools.

EDC’s Health and Human Development Division, with funding and guidance from the UNESCO Kingston Cluster Office for the Caribbean have developed an extensive training module to make this possible. EduCan members and people from local organizations of People Living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA) in the Bahamas and Jamaica are involved extensively in developing and piloting these training materials, which will soon be available throughout the Caribbean.

Why is GIPA important?

  • Programmes and curricula for HIV and AIDS are more effective when persons living with HIV are involved in the planning, executing and evaluating of such programmes.
  • The persons living with HIV, who are also employed by the education sector, will benefit from an improved psycho-social environment, which will in turn, assist their mental and emotional well-being.
  • As stories are shared from persons infected or affected by HIV, stigma and discrimination will be reduced. Persons will remove their myths of transmission and prevention.
  • The reduction of stigma and discrimination will lead to greater support and action.

New GIPA Resource

Positive Partnerships: A Toolkit for the Greater Involvement of People Living with or Affected by HIV and AIDS in the Caribbean Education Sector