Get the facts.
Share the facts.
Help stop the spread of HIV.
The Greater Carolinas Chapter of the American Red Cross is hosting a Basic HIV/AIDS Program: HIV Education and Prevention Instructor Course. The Red Cross works to educate our community on HIV/AIDS.
Each year, there are more and more new HIV infections, which shows that people either aren’t learning the message about the dangers of HIV, or are unable or unwilling to act on it. Many people are dangerously ignorant about the virus, with surveys around the world showing alarmingly low levels of awareness and understanding about HIV amongst many groups. Education can help to overcome such ignorance, and thereby prevent HIV infections from occurring.
Education needs to be an ongoing process, because each generation of young people need to be informed about how they can protect themselves from HIV as they grow up. Older generations, who have already hopefully received some AIDS education, may need the message reinforced, so that they continue to take precautions against HIV infection, and are able to inform younger people of the dangers.
The course is from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 25-28. Cost is $200 (includes Fundamentals of Instructor Training) or $175 (does not include FIT, required to pass course).
There are three main reasons for AIDS education:
To prevent new infections from taking place
This can be seen as consisting of two processes: firstly, giving people information about HIV and AIDS, such as how they are transmitted and how people can protect themselves from infection. Secondly, people must be taught how to put this information to use and act on it practically – how to get and use condoms, how to suggest and practice safer sex, how to prevent infection in a medical environment or when injecting drugs.
To improve quality of life for HIV positive people
Too often, AIDS education is seen as being something which should be targeted only at people who are not infected with HIV in order to prevent them from becoming infected. When AIDS education with HIV positive people is considered at all it is frequently seen only in terms of preventing new infections by teaching HIV+ people about the importance of not passing on the virus. An important and commonly-neglected aspect of AIDS education with HIV positive people is enabling and empowering them to improve their quality of life. HIV positive people have varying educational needs, but among them are the need to be able to access medical services and drug provision and the need to be able to find appropriate emotional and practical support and help.
To reduce stigma and discrimination
In many countries there is a great deal of fear and stigmatisation of people who are HIV positive. This fear is too often accompanied by ignorance, resentment and ultimately, anger. Sometimes the results of prejudice and fear can be extreme, with HIV positive people being burned to death in India, and many families being forced to leave their homes across the United States when neighbours discover a family-member’s positive status. Discrimination against positive people can help the AIDS epidemic to spread, because if people are fearful of being tested for HIV, then they are more likely to pass the infection to someone else without knowing.