HIV/AIDS prevention and education

published 8 March 2017 updated 4 April 2017


Education consists of more than just reading, writing, and arithmetic. An important part of any quality education is health education. This deals with influencing or changing attitudes and behaviour with life skills. Such education is promoted by teachers’ unions at national level, but also requires international support and initiatives.

Since 1994, Education International has worked in close cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO) in the field of health education and more specifically on HIV/AIDS prevention. Recognizing the necessity for a broad, strong, school health response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, EI and WHO, joined by the Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC), work hand in hand with EI affiliates to prevent the further spread of the disease. In 2001, the partnership led to the launch of the EI/WHO/EDC Teachers Training Program on HIV/AIDS prevention in schools and eventually the EFAIDS Program in 2006. Though it ended in June 2011, most of the EI affiliates involved continue organizing themselves to fight against HIV/AIDs and related discrimination.

Although advances have been made in medical treatment of HIV/AIDS, medication is not always universally available. Stigma continues to be a problem. EI made efforts to cooperate with other Global Unions and was active in the Global Unions Aids Program (GUAP) throughout its existence.

Concerning human trafficking, a serious problem that is related to the spread of HIV/AIDS, a Protocol was adopted at the ILO in 2014 to ILO Convention 29 (1930) on Forced Labour. The Protocol, which took effect in January of 2016, explicitly includes human trafficking as a form of forced labour.


EI policy on HIV/AIDS is mostly shaped by resolutions passed by World Congresses since 1995. These resolutions stress the critical role that quality education can play in preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS. The EI World Congresses adopted the following resolutions with regard to HIV/AIDS: "Resolution on HIV/AIDS" (2004), "Resolution on Gender and HIV/AIDS" (2004), “Resolution on Trafficking in Women, Girls, and Boys” (2001), "Resolution on Health Promotion and School Health" (1998), "Resolution on Health Promotion and Education for the Prevention of AIDS and Health-Threatening Behaviours" (1995). In between Congresses, the EI Executive Board also adopted a resolution on HIV/AIDS prevention: "AIDS: Save the children and the teachers" (2000). Each of these resolutions stress the crucial role that schools and educators can play in the prevention of HIV/AIDs transmission.