Guardian Examines Effects of AIDS on Teachers in South Africa, Prevention, Education Efforts in Schools
London's Guardian on Tuesday examined the effects of HIV/AIDS on teachers in South Africa and how teachers' unions and other organizations in the country are leading a movement to implement education and prevention programs in schools to fight the epidemic (McGreal, Guardian, 12/20). Four South African teachers' unions joined U.S. and South African partners in October to launch a two-year pilot project that aims to combine peer education, HIV testing and antiretroviral treatment for teachers in three provinces in the country. The project -- called Prevention, Care and Treatment Access for South African Educators -- aims to train 7,500 peer educators and provide antiretroviral treatment to 2,300 teachers and their spouses in South Africa's Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga provinces (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 10/6). According to the Guardian, the country's teachers' unions launched the campaign because they believe that the crisis in schools could be alleviated by keeping teachers "healthy and working." David Mbetse -- who was hired as the South African Democratic Teachers' Union's AIDS program coordinator in 2003 after launching a model initiative to address the epidemic in schools in rural Bushbuckridge, South Africa -- said, "We want HIV introduced into every subject" in the school curriculum, adding, "When they are doing math, some of the questions can be related to AIDS. ... In biology, they can learn how the virus works. We want it integrated. If we have seven subjects and all seven teachers of those subjects talk about HIV and AIDS, it's going to have a real impact" (Guardian, 12/20).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.