HIV- nobody's friend!

By Jackson Vukovic – Health Project Volunteer 5 years ago
Categories Uncategorized

A trip to Shimoni Secondary School on this bright and beautiful day was for an extra, EXTRA important Life Skills Lesson. A lesson on HIV and the science behind it! A term that makes everyone’s skin crawl…just the thought of the nasty widespread immune-attacking virus devastating people’s lives in enough to design a class and educate as much as we can about it. Both the girls and boys classes of Form 2 at Shimoni Secondary filed into a classroom and waited eagerly the beginning of the lesson. This class was a continuation on from our first class on HIV the week before…but this time a whole lot more “science-ey!” We teachers really had to get our science thinking caps on and read up on T-Cells, CD+4 counts, Acute Phase, Chronic Phase and a whole lot more science jargon…fascinating stuff and great to see the majority of students enthused.

Our lesson began with an over-view and reintroduction of HIV and what it’s all about, definition, transmission, prevention etc etc. BUT THEN…we hit the science head-on! First up were the stages of HIV infection a person encounters after they have been infected:

(1) Exposure to and transmission of HIV; (2) Acute Infection; (3) Chronic Infection; (4) AIDS; (5) Opportunistic Pathogen infection; (6) Death

This is some scary stuff when it is written in black and white on the chalkboard. Looking from the outside it can seem a light-hearted chat to teach about the stages a person will go through after they have been infected with HIV but once you are up in front of 40 students in a classroom, it can be a little bit shocking how relevant this education is. It really is honouring to be able to be a part of making an educational difference and hopefully help people avoid a HIV infection during their lives.

Up next on the teaching platform was Mr. Kopa (Health Project Staff) to teach about the replication of HIV once you have been infected. Again, a very heavy science area…but we feel confident the students got a decent understanding of the way in which the virus grows and attacks your body’s immune system.

We ended the class by asking students if they had any questions on the topic and if they wanted to know more. It was great to have a few questions asked and we felt like we had done a good job at teaching the students about the science behind HIV and how it works once you have been infected. Hopefully it was shocking enough to influence more use of protective measures from now on!

Jackson Vukovic – Health Project Volunteer