As Caribbean health professionals respond to the AIDS pandemic, educators are also grappling with the stigma that affects those who live with HIV and AIDS. HIV-related discrimination can lead to absenteeism and isolation for teachers and students, as well as a fear of being tested.
One powerful way to support people living with HIV and AIDS is to involve them in strategies that address misconceptions and support prevention. With that in mind, EDC created the Greater Involvement of Persons Living with HIV and AIDS (GIPA) Toolkit: Positive Partnerships—a training module for Caribbean educators and networks of people living with HIV and AIDS.
“The people we worked with who are living with HIV have an
optimistic outlook,” says EDC’s Carmen Aldinger. “They want to
become advocates for others by openly sharing their experiences, addressing fears, and promoting prevention.”
To strengthen the response to this health crisis, the GIPA Toolkit uses case studies, role-playing, and other activities to break down barriers and promote prevention. It was pilot-tested in the Bahamas and Jamaica and will be distributed for use in other Caribbean countries.
The program grew out of EDC’s work with the Caribbean Education Sector HIV and AIDS Coordinator Network (EduCan), which brings together HIV and AIDS coordinators from Caribbean education ministries to create a policy-level response to the region’s HIV/AIDS crisis. It is funded by UNESCO.
Originally published on April 17, 2009