Over 1 million children studying in Classes VIII, IX and X in Karnataka have been targeted under a School AIDS Education Programme.
The programme aims to provide correct information on HIV/AIDS so that students can protect themselves from infection. Preventive aspects of HIV/AIDS awareness, including the importance of being faithful to one’s partner and knowing how to use a condom correctly, are discussed with these students as they prepare to leave school. Close to 50 per cent of all schools in the state have already been covered.
Work on the programme was initially difficult as teachers were hesitant about attending the programme. But once this was overcome the programme has helped bring about a change in attitude, with parents welcoming the initiative. It has also helped increase the number of people going to voluntary counselling and testing centres.