Education about HIV/AIDS - theoretical underpinnings for a practical response

Case Studies & Research
10 p.
Periodical title
Health Education Research

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)- and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)-related education is seen by many as central to increasing young people’s awareness of, as well as decreasing their vulnerability to, HIV. There is less agreement, however, on the central goals of HIV- and AIDS-related education and the form it might best take. This paper offers a conceptual framework for understanding some of the main approaches to HIV- and AIDS-related education being implemented today, drawing a distinction between approaches which are ‘scientifically’ informed; those that draw upon notions of ‘rights’ and those which are overtly ‘moralistic’ in the sense that they promote conservative moral positions concerning sexuality and sexual acts. In outlining these three approaches, we examine different ways in which the terms ‘science’, ‘rights’ and ‘moral values’ are conceptualized and some of the key assumptions underpinning different forms of HIV- and AIDS-related education. Findings will be useful for those desiring to develop a typology of approaches to HIV- and AIDS-related education and their potential effects.

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