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The HIV/AIDS Crisis: Resources

Teaching Materials

Breaking the Silence is a toolkit for educators who wish to teach about the AIDS epidemic. This curricular resource is the product of a joint effort by the AFT and the Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (ZIMTA). As such, in addition to a wealth of general information, it also offers specifics about the dimensions of the crisis in Africa.

Education International (EI) offers several wonderful teaching resources, including a “One Hour on AIDS” lesson plan, a “Take the Lead on AIDS” poster, and a report on the activities of unions around the globe on World AIDS Day 2007.

Teachers Caring is a video about the HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa. The AFT was an important partner in the production of the film.

Window of Hope is an award-winning documentary about education and HIV/AIDS in Africa.

The UNESCO Education Clearinghouse shares knowledge and information about the impact of HIV/AIDS on education. The Web-site is designed as a tool to disseminate research and recommend best practices for dealing with HIV/AIDS in education.

Teachers who wish to bring the issue of HIV/AIDS to their classrooms may find this set of lesson and activity plans helpful.


International Organizations

As the directing and coordinating authority on international health, the World Health Organization (WHO) is a leader in the global health sector response to HIV/AIDS. Its HIV/AIDS Department provides evidence-based technical support to WHO member states to help them improve treatment, care and prevention services to ensure comprehensive, sustainable remedies for HIV/AIDS.

UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations’ Programme on HIV/AIDS, brings together the efforts and resources of 10 U.N. organizations to help the world prevent new HIV infections, care for people living with HIV/AIDS and mitigate the impact of the epidemic.

Education International (EI), the largest global teacher organization, represents about 30 million education workers from all sectors of the field. It works closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) in the field of health education. Recognizing the urgency for a broad, strong response to HIV/AIDS, EI and WHO, joined by the Education Development Center (EDC), work with EI affiliates to prevent further spread of the disease. This partnership led to the 2001 launch of the EI/WHO/EDC Teachers Training Programme on HIV/AIDS prevention in schools.

The Human Sciences Research Council in South Africa is a “knowledge hub,” bridging the gap among research, policy and action through collaboration with research organizations, universities, nongovernmental organizations, multinational agencies, governments and donors.

Treatment Action Campaign is a South African AIDS activist organization founded by the HIV-positive activist Zackie Achmat in 1998. It provides both issue-specific direct advocacy action and counseling and care centers for HIV-positive South Africans.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created the Global AIDS Program (CDC GAP) in 2000 to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic by assisting resource-constrained countries to prevent HIV infection, improve treatment, care and support for people living with HIV, and build vital capacity and infrastructure to address the global HIV/AIDS epidemic. The CDC GAP's highly trained physicians, epidemiologists, public health advisors, behavioral scientists and laboratory scientists support the national HIV/AIDS strategies of more than 60 countries in Africa, Asia, Central America, South America and the Caribbean through its country and regional offices.

The World AIDS Campaign works toward “the goal of universal access to comprehensive prevention programs, treatment, care and support.” Every year on December 1, AFT members join with countless other educators and trade unionists around the globe to commemorate World AIDS Day, which is organized by the campaign.

President Clinton established the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative (CHAI) in 2002 to help those with HIV and AIDS obtain medical treatment by negotiating lower prices for lifesaving antiretroviral treatment (ART) and by working with governments to improve the national healthcare systems required to deliver crucial medicines. CHAI has expanded its scope of work beyond ART to increase access to diagnostics and malaria medicines, as well as to address a variety of issues that must be overcome to turn the tide of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

For two decades, the Harvard AIDS Initiative (HAI) has been dedicated to promoting research, education and leadership to end the AIDS epidemic. As the number of AIDS cases continues to escalate disproportionately in Africa and other resource-scarce settings, HAI has directed its efforts toward prevention and treatment strategies to respond to the epidemic.

Save the Children supports hundreds of thousands of children affected by HIV/AIDS. Working with families, community groups, local governments and nongovernmental organizations, it strengthens local capacities to protect vulnerable children, prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and care for infected community members. To ensure a comprehensive and sustainable response to the epidemic, as well as to mitigate stigma and discrimination, Save the Children integrates its HIV/AIDS work through programs in the education, health, food security and economic sectors.

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières is an international medical humanitarian organization created by doctors and journalists in France in 1971. It began treating people living with HIV/AIDS in the 1990s and started antiretroviral treatment programs in Cameroon, Thailand and South Africa in 2000. It now operates HIV/AIDS programs in 32 countries and provides such treatments to more than 100,000 HIV-positive patients, including 7,000 children.

Domestic Organizations

AIDSinfo is a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services project that offers the latest federally approved information on HIV/AIDS clinical research, treatment, prevention and medical practice guidelines.

CDC Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention provides leadership in helping to control the HIV/AIDS epidemic by working with community, state, national and international partners in surveillance, research, and prevention and evaluation activities.

The CDC National Prevention Information Network is the U.S. reference, referral and distribution service for information on HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis, sexually transmitted infections and tuberculosis.

The Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit foundation focusing on the major healthcare issues facing the United States. It is a major producer of policy analysis and research as well as a clearinghouse of news and information for the health policy community. It produces factsheets on the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the U.S. that analyze key trends, impact by region and population and governmental responses.


International Resources

Published by the Prevention, Care, and Treatment Access project of the Education Labour Relations Council, the Hlanganani newsletter offers a great deal of information about the HIV/AIDS crisis in South Africa and the efforts of teachers’ unions to combat it. Editions 1 and 2 are available online.

Published in 2005, The Health of our Educators is the report of a commissioned study examining the impact of HIV/AIDS on the supply and demand of educators in the education sector. It was prepared for the ELRC by the Social Aspects of HIV/AIDS and Health research program of the Human Sciences Research Council.

For more information about the effects of the HIV/AIDS crisis on education and how education systems can respond, please refer to “AIDS Brief: Education Sector,” a resource produced by the United States Agency for International Development.

EF AIDS is a relatively new program created by Education International, the World Health Organization and the Education Development Center. On its Web site, you can learn more about global efforts for universal public education and the eradication of HIV/AIDS and sign up to receive the EF AIDS e-newsletter.

These maps illustrate the HIV infection rates around the world, and, thus, the true magnitude of the crisis.

Domestic Resources

The AFT and its New York City affiliate, the United Federation of Teachers, have produced “Basic Information Everyone Should Know about HIV and AIDS” to provide background information for those who have little to no existing knowledge about the pandemic.

HIV and AIDS in America” is an information-filled AFT brochure about the domestic crisis.

In 2006, the AFT adopted a resolution about “ Increasing AFT Members' Awareness of HIV/AIDS in the United States.”

It’s Up to Us: Building a Safer Workplace through Universal Precautions” is an AFT factsheet that offers workplace safety advice for both employees and employers.

Successful lobbying by AFT Healthcare and other unions resulted in the adoption of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Blood-borne Pathogen Standard, which protects healthcare professionals by requiring a comprehensive program to prevent or reduce worker exposure to blood and other infectious materials.

The Center for Disease Control’s Business Responds to AIDS/Labor Responds to AIDS program helps address issues like workplace discrimination, return-to-work rules and employee morale. The Labor Leader's Kit it offers includes resources labor leaders need to build HIV/AIDS workplace programs.

To learn more about HIV infection rates in the United States, see a table of the U.S. Metropolitan Areas with Most New Cases of HIV/AIDS.