The National AIDS Trust (NAT) today launches its Schools Pack in the lead up to World AIDS Day 1 December, a practical resource for teachers providing ideas on integrating HIV into the national curriculum for Key Stages 3 and 4.

The pack is designed for use throughout the school year, but has been launched ahead of World AIDS Day, so that teachers can plan lessons and activities for this international day of awareness.

The National AIDS Trust is launching the Schools Pack as part of its work to address the lack of adequate education about HIV and AIDS in UK schools.

The failure of the national curriculum to include HIV within relevant subjects such as science, citizenship, geography and PSHE means that many young people in the UK leave school without knowing the facts about HIV and the realities of living with HIV in the UK and worldwide.

This has led to a drop in awareness of how HIV is transmitted among young people in the last five years, as revealed by a recent MORI survey commissioned by the National AIDS Trust. The survey also revealed that misconceptions about living with HIV are also particularly high among people under 24.

Deborah Jack, Chief Executive of the National AIDS Trust, stressed the importance of educating about HIV, “Inadequate education about HIV in our schools is letting down students by failing to address the ignorance and myths and potentially putting them at risk. The launch of our Schools Pack is part of our drive to improve HIV education in schools and to make HIV an integrated part of the curriculum.

The National AIDS Trust hopes that the launch of this educational tool, with its new approach to HIV spanning the disciplines of Citizenship, Geography, ICT, Drama, English and PSHE, will benefit students across the country.”

The Schools Pack was developed with the support of the National Children’s Bureau and is available free of charge to all secondary schools in the UK. The pack includes lesson plans for key stages three and four, factsheets, posters and ideas for assemblies and fundraising activities.

Nick Wergan, Head of English at Sackville School, who is intending to use the Schools Pack to plan lessons around World AIDS Day, said: “We want our students to be informed about the decisions they can take to minimise the risks of HIV and AIDS in their own lives, and to be aware of the devastating impact this virus has on different communities and countries.

“The Schools Pack from the National AIDS Trust will be an invaluable source of ideas, information and resources as we plan lessons, assemblies and fundraising activities for World AIDS Day.”