ALAPPUZHA: AIDS awareness programmes may soon be part of Kerala’s school curriculum on the lines of states like Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
The move gathered momentum after Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said it should be mandatory for kids to learn prevention of the dreaded disease.
Currently, the Kerala State AIDS Control Society (KSACS) has an “adolescent-help education programme”.
Kerala State AIDS Control Society joint director Sunil Kumar said it could make a paradigm shift in the way the society treated AIDS victims.
“We have presented the idea and education department seems to be considering it,” he told DC.
A Human Rights Watch study, Future Forsaken: Abuses Against Children Affected by HIV/AIDS in India, says the majority of teachers selectively avoid portions on AIDS/HIV.
The study observes that India’s approach to the sex education and HIV awareness tends to address not gender roles and sexuality, but parenting, disease and abstinence.
“The schools in the state don’t discuss condoms,” an AIDS education programme resource person said.
“Children say it’s a blood-based syndrome, and you shouldn’t get in contact with the other person’s blood. In schools, we don’t say that you can get HIV through sex.”
As per the health department data, there’s a 57 percent drop in the number of AIDS cases in the state during the last ten years.
In the last year, the spread of HIV from mother to the child had been reduced to just two. There are 27,173 HIV+ people in the state.
People started spreading canards that other children could contract AIDS by just looking at the siblings after two Kollam kids tested positive for the disease in 2003.
Following this, UNICEF came forward to launch a series of initiatives to remove the stigma associated with AIDS in the state....