The NASUWT supports World AIDS Day (new window) on 1 December and Global Dimension World Aids Day (new window). HIV is still a very real issue for over 90,000 people living with HIV in the UK and their families.
6,658 people were newly diagnosed with HIV in the UK in 2010 and worldwide over 33 million people are living with HIV.
HIV is relevant for schools for many reasons. With the advances in treatment, people infected with HIV are surviving, working, having children and raising families. Therefore the school community may include teachers, children, parents and families that are affected by the illness.
However the stigma and discrimination faced by people living with HIV still exists. Schools are key to achieving a real change in public understanding and attitudes in the long term.
Under the Equality act 2010 it is illegal to discriminate against anyone with HIV. However, an investigation by the National Aids Trust (NAT) new window discovered that children and teachers with HIV are being discriminated against in schools. The NASUWT has been working with the NAT to call for an end to end discrimination based on HIV status.
The NASUWT believes that there is a need for improved education on HIV in schools, which will not only ensure that young people are able to protect themselves from HIV infection but will enable them to challenge HIV stigma and discrimination.
As part of the new Public Sector Equality Duty Schools have a specific responsibility to promote disability equality and HIV is included in this duty. The NAT have produced a teachers pack (new window) that can help schools meet their duty.
The pack is a practical resource for teachers providing suggestions on how to integrate HIV into the national curriculum for different subjects within key stages three and four. It includes lesson plans, ideas for assemblies and HIV fact sheets