Section 5: Sensitive ways to raise HIV and AIDS

Key Focus Question: How can you teach a sensitive topic like HIV and AIDS in a constructive and supportive manner?

Keywords: preparation; active learning; sensitivity; quizzes; role play; HIV and AIDS

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this section, you will have:

  • prepared yourself for teaching a sensitive subject such as HIV and AIDS, using a variety of resources including the Internet;
  • used different methods such as role play and local experts to ensure active learning;
  • created a sensitive learning environment to develop understanding of HIV and AIDS.


As a primary teacher, you will be aware of the importance of helping your pupils deal with the impact of HIV and AIDS on their lives, in terms of knowledge about the facts of HIV and AIDS, the safety of their own health and the health of others.

This is a difficult subject for some teachers and pupils to cope with and for that reason some teachers prefer to ‘leave it to the experts’. However, there are many ways you can provide a sensitive learning environment to help your pupils explore this topic if you plan carefully. This section will help you to prepare and plan using a variety of resources – colleagues, outside experts, text and the Internet. You will develop skills in using role play in your teaching about HIV and AIDS and create some classroom rules to provide a supportive learning environment. This section does not cover everything to do with HIV and AIDS but does help show approaches you could use.

Resource 5: Wangari Maathai and the Green Belt Movement

1. Focus on planning