HIV Prevention and Health Education

Since October 2015, UNESCO regional HIV and health education programme for Eastern Europe and Central Asia is based at UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (IITE).

UNESCO works to achieve Education for All by promoting the health of every individual within the school community. The Organization promotes good policies and practice in the education sector, helps partners create safe learning environments, and promotes life skills-based instruction through modern, interactive teaching methods. UNESCO’s work in health education aims to create healthy and inclusive learning environments for all members of the school community.

Every tenth pupil in the world is exposed to violence (including gender-based violence) in school. Such violence is a serious violation of human rights, increases vulnerability to HIV and also has a negative impact on the ability to receive a quality education. Therefore UNESCO provides technical guidance and support to boost education sector capacity to prevent and respond to violence.

Sexually transmitted infections (including HIV), unintended pregnancy and substance use pose serious threats to health and well being of many adolescents and young people and may negatively impact them across the life course. UNESCO supports education sector and civil society to develop, implement and scale up comprehensive school-based health education programmes and ICT-based (the Internet and social media) tools and approaches for non-formal education and awareness raising among adolescents and young people.

Such health education programmes and awareness raising tools are rights-based, scientifically accurate and grounded in evidence, culturally appropriate, gender responsive and age-specific. They provide adolescents and young people with information about different aspects of sexuality and reproductive health and help them develop important personal and social (life) skills that are necessary for safe and enjoyable interpersonal relations.

UNESCO is a UNAIDS cosponsor and supports countries responses to HIV with advocacy, policy and programmatic guidance. UNESCO supported programmes and projects aim to improve the quality and effectiveness of HIV and health education, advance gender equality and protect human rights. This work is carried out in accordance with the UNAIDS strategy and vision of "zero new infections", "zero discrimination" and "zero AIDS-related deaths".

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