Resource 4: Transmission runaround

Teacher resource for planning or adapting to use with pupils

You can use this method for any age group by adapting the questions to suit the level of the children.This description is better suited to older primary pupils.


  • To assess levels of awareness of how HIV is transmitted.
  • To encourage group members to think about a variety of transmission routes.

What you will need

A reasonably spacious room, to allow for free movement. Or you can move outside.

A copy of Transmission Runaround true/false question sheet for yourself and the answer sheet.

Two large sheets of paper clearly marked 'STRONGLY AGREE' and 'STRONGLY DISAGREE'.


Time – up to 60 minutes depending on the number of statements used and the size of the group.

What you do

  • Put up the 'STRONGLY AGREE' and 'STRONGLY DISAGREE' sheets on the wall at opposite ends of the room or on the wall/trees across the playground.
  • Explain to the group as a whole that you will read out a series of statements, one at a time. Each person is to think about whether they agree or disagree with it, and move to the appropriate side of the room/space. It is all right to stay in the middle if they are uncertain.
  • Read the first statement. Once everyone has moved to their chosen place, ask members to choose one person near them and discuss why they are standing where they are.
  • Now ask people to choose one person standing as far away from them as possible, and to discuss the statement with them, explaining why each has chosen to be where they are.
  • Repeat the procedure with as many statements as time allows.
  • Reassemble as a group and, going round the group, ask each individual to identify one piece of information they are confused or unclear about. Ask members of the group to clarify the issues involved and intervene yourself where necessary.

Likely outcomes

At the end of the exercise, it will be clear what areas of uncertainty remain. Individuals will have had a chance to think about ways of transmitting HIV, and to discuss these with other group members. It will also be clear that transmission routes for HIV are very specific e.g. it is not 'sex' that transmits the virus, but unprotected sex involving penetration. People can sometimes become quarrelsome during this exercise so you may need to intervene to settle disputes.

True/false question sheet

1.You can become infected with HIV by sleeping around
2.Injecting drugs will give you HIV
3.You can get HIV from toilet seats
4.If you are fit and healthy you won't become infected with HIV
5.Married people don't become infected with HIV
6.If you stick with one partner you won't become infected with HIV
7.Women are safe from HIV as long as they use a contraceptive
8.You can become infected with HIV from sharing toothbrushes
9.If you have sex with people who look healthy, you won't become infected with HIV
10.If you only have sex with people you know, you won't become infected with HIV
11.Anal sex between two men is more risky than anal sex between a man and a woman
12.You can become infected with HIV from kissing
13.A man can become infected with HIV if he has oral sex with a woman
14.A man can become infected with HIV if he has oral sex with a woman
15.Condoms can stop you becoming infected with HIV

True/false answer sheet

  1. Sleeping around is not in itself risky, but having unprotected sex with an infected person is. By using condoms properly and by avoiding sex with penetration, you can substantially reduce the risk of infection.
  2. Only if the needle or syringe previously has been contaminated with HIV.
  3. There are no known cases of HIV infection via toilet seats.
  4. It does not matter how healthy or unhealthy you are, if you engage in risky activities you stand a chance of being infected.
  5. This depends on the partners involved, what they did before they met, whether either has unprotected sex outside of the marriage or injects drugs using contaminated equipment. Marriage by itself offers no guarantees of safety.
  6. As for No 5.
  7. Only condoms offer women protection against HIV, and even condoms cannot offer complete safety. Other forms of contraception do not offer protection from HIV.
  8. There is no evidence of transmission via this route, but it is sensible not to share toothbrushes for general health reasons.
  9. Most people with HIV will look perfectly healthy. Looks are therefore a useless way of assessing risk.
  10. Knowing someone well offers no reliable guide to whether or not they have HIV infection.
  11. Anal sex is equally risky regardless of whether it takes place between two men or a man and a woman.
  12. There is no evidence of transmission in this way, although kissing when there are sores or cuts in the mouth may pose some risk.
  13. HIV is present in cervical and vaginal secretions as well as in (menstrual) blood, so there is the possibility of transmission this way.
  14. HIV is present in semen so there is a possibility of transmission in this way.
  15. Condoms used properly will help to prevent transmission of HIV from an infected partner to an uninfected partner. Condoms are not 100% safe though. Any lubricant used should be water based, as oil-based lubricants can weaken the condom. When buying condoms check the 'sell by' date.

Resource 3: HIV and AIDS quiz

Resource 5: Role play for HIV and AIDS lessons