This multi-country study on the impact of HIV and AIDS on the education sector was carried out in four countries in order to identify current practices and to explore their strengths and weaknesses. The study revealed that the various stakeholders in the education system had limited knowledge of national HIV and AIDS and education policies and as a result actions aimed at mitigating the impact of HIV and AIDS were largely ineffective. HIV and AIDS affect the offer, demand and quality of education due to an absence of administrative measures to manage infected and affected persons. The involvement of decentralized administrative bodies and communities in the fight against HIV and AIDS in the education sector is practically non-existent. Although provision of information and training for stakeholders in the education system is increasing, it is still inadequate in terms of changing attitudes and behaviors. The study shows that the school environment is not the best place to acquire knowledge on HIV and AIDS and that more often than not it is the media that fulfils this role. This lack of information and knowledge leads to stigmatizing behavior affecting both infected and affected teachers and pupils. The recommendations emerging from the study focus on three main areas: National HIV and AIDS policies; Putting in place administrative and legal measures to manage infected and affected persons in the school environment; Strengthening the provision of training and information in the education system. In conclusion, the impact of HIV and AIDS on the education sector could be mitigated by the coordinated involvement of all stakeholders.
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