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Letters to the Editor

Indian Pediatrics 2004; 41:966-967

Preventive Education against HIV/AIDS in the Schools of Iran


With reference to the informative editorial by Dr. M.K.C. Nair entitled: "Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health"(1), we present a summary of our recent country study of preventive education against HIV/AIDS in the schools in Iran(2). Like India(1) the cultural and social mores of Iran complicate discussion of sexual activity, especially among the youth and unmarried(2,3). To deal with this as an obstacle in the preventive education, peer education programs have been started in guidance schools and high schools all over the country and thousands of students are being trained every year to educate their peers on HIV/AIDS(2). Consultants and health workers in guidance schools and high schools will educate the selected students for efficient peer education. These trained students will also attend the campaigns held by the Ministry of Education. We have developed a cross-country long-term preventive education for the students in first year of high school. Currently, 13000 In-service biology teachers and school physicians are being trained as they can educate nearly 1.5 million students in high schools. A special course on HIV/AIDS has been designed as an appendix to biology books for the first grade high school students(2). Cultural issues have been considered in designing the course to avoid the possible negative reactions by the families of the students. The program is to be started in 2004 and we hope to modify the course after we see the feedback in practice.

The Initiative FRESH (Focusing Resources on Effective School Health)(4), calling for implementation in all schools of four basic core components of school health is also to be implemented till 2005 in our schools. Consultation centers have already been founded to cover: HIV/AIDS patients, high-risk groups and the whole community.

Finally, we are now working on capacity building and reducing the stigma against HIV/AIDS patients. This will help in both public and patientsí contribution in the preventive education programs.

Mohammad R. Mohebbi,
Faculty of Medicine,
Tehran University of Medical Sciences,
Tehran, I.R. Iran.
E-mail: mohebim@sina.tums.ac.ir

Reza Navipour,

Bureau of Nutrition and School Health,
Deputy of Physical Education and Health,
Ministry of Education, I.R. Iran,
Tehran, I.R. Iran.

 

References

 

1. Nair MKC. Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health. Indian Pediatr 2004; 41: 7-13.

2. Gheiratmand R, Navipour R, Mohebbi MR, Hosseini KM, Motaghian-Monazzam M, Mallik AK, et al. A country study to review existing capacity building and management of the training of teachers on preventive education against HIV/AIDS in the cchools in I.R. Iran. Available from: URL: http://www.neshat.org/html_pages/a_country_ study_to_ review_existi1.htm . Accessed February 25, 2004.

3. Bureau of Nutrition and School Health, Deputy of Physical Education and Health, Ministry of Education of the I.R. Iran. Policies of the Ministry of Education for Prevention of HIV/AIDS [In Persian]. 2002, Tehran, Iran.

4. The World Education Forum. The interagency initiative FRESH (Focusing Resources on Effective School Health). Dakar, April 2000. Available from: URL: http://www.unesco.org/education/efa/know_sharing/flagship_initiatives/fresh. shtml Accessed February 25, 2004.

 

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