Thousands of London children to learn about HIV and Aids


HIV virusThousands of schoolchildren across London are set to learn about HIV and Aids following the launch of a major new charity-funded education kit today.

Leading Aids charity, Crusaid, has developed the new media kit to complement the GCSE English curriculum and will distribute it to 1,500 schools across London following today's launch at the British Council.

Crusaid has funded the pilot project and distribution to London schools with a view to encouraging the Government to provide funding for national distribution.

The "Aware!" media kit will be sent out to the schools during 2007 following a successful pilot project in eight schools during the 2005/06 school year.

The kit features the UK's original Aids awareness TV advertisement from the 1980s and encourages students to devise their own Aids awareness campaign aimed at teenagers. It's the first time a teaching module on HIV has been created for the mainstream English curriculum.

Ian Sankey, head of English at Lilian Baylis Technology School in Lambeth, said: "Currently HIV education in our schools is extremely unsatisfactory.

"The Crusaid Aware Media Kit allows students to continue working towards their English qualifications whilst also learning important personal lessons which will enable them to make informed decisions about their sexual health for their future."

Steven Inman, head of grants and projects at Crusaid, added: "This is a vital step toward a national HIV and Aids prevention drive in schools.

"Teachers involved in the pilot have welcomed the pack which tackles the sensitive subject of HIV and Aids as part of regular coursework, making it easier for children and adults to discuss these issues openly.

"Crusaid will continue to push HIV and Aids education until a suitable programme is running in every school in the UK."

Copyright Press Association 2006