Young people's experiences of HIV and AIDS education

Conference Reports
National Children's Bureau
11 p.

The Sex Education Forum is a unique collaboration of diverse organisations representing children, parents, faith, disability, health and education. We believe thatáall children and young people are entitled to high quality sex and relationships education (SRE), which includes learning about HIV and AIDS. The House of Lords began an ad-hoc Select Committee on HIV and AIDS in the United Kingdom in January 2011 and is due to report in July 2011. One of the things the committee is investigating is whether education about HIV and AIDS is adequate and how to improve it. Learning about HIV and AIDS is compulsory for maintained secondary schools in England, but in 2008 a survey carried out by the Sex Education Forum found that one in four young people had not learnt about HIV and AIDS in school. Government guidance on sex and relationship education states that strategies for teaching about HIV/AIDS and STIs should include: helping pupils clarify their knowledge of HIV/AIDS and STIs; teaching them assertiveness skills for negotiating relationships; and enabling them to become effective users of services that help prevent/treat STIs and HIV. All schools in England, including academies, must have due regard to this guidance. To ensure that young people's experiences and views informed the Select Committee we decided to run an on-line survey to get an up-to-date picture from young people about HIV and AIDS education. This briefing is a summary of the key findings from the on-line survey.

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