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Namibia teacher union promotes HIV prevention and supports treatment

Through their EFAIDS Programme, the Namibia National Teachers’ Union is committed to showing in a practical way that that HIV and AIDS is a workplace issue.

As part of a Workplace Wellness Programme, the union working together with the Minsitry of Education, encouraged more than 10,000 employees of the education sector to know their status and get tested during 2009. Over 12,000 teachers attended regional Edusector Health Days, where they received information on HIV and AIDS, and had access to voluntary counselling and testing (VCT). NANTU also kept up the momentum on prevention. As well as training on HIV prevention, gender safe schools, involving people living with HIV, and the practical implementation of workplace policies, NANTU worked to institutionalise HIV prevention training for coming generations of teachers. The union played a lead role in the drafting of HIV training manuals for use in teacher training colleges, so that future teachers come to the classroom well equipped to teach HIV prevention and behaviour change. Well aware of the importance of setting long-term strategies to address the AIDS crisis, NANTU participated in a consultation meeting to assist the government in developing a national mult-sectoral HIV and AIDS response for 2010-2015. The union is also strengthening the structure of the Edusector Employees Network allowing them to provide improved support to teachers living with HIV.

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