16.06.2010 -

Comics inform young people about AIDS, pregnancy and homosexuality

© UNESCO/MS/MEC/Edh Muller

Comic books illustrated by designers of Marvel will be distributed among public schools across the country

A modern visual language to address issues related  to youth and HIV / Aids and prejudice against those living with HIV/AIDS. That is the goal  of a series of comics themed on sexuality and education for students of the Program on Health and Prevention in Schools (Saúde e Prevenção nas Escolas  - SPE, in Portuguese),   which was released this Tuesday (15/06), in a ceremony hold at the Convention Center Ulysses Guimarães, in Brasilia. The publication will be sent to public schools attending the program.

The Brazilian Health Minister Jose Gomes Temporão and the Director of UNESCO Brasilia Office, Vincent Defourny hosted the ceremony. "We are unveiling serious issues about which people did not talk before" said the minister, who delivered two sets of comics for youngsters who were attending the ceremony. Temporão also highlighted that the SPE Project offers information and quality health care to public school students through the program.

The Director of UNESCO Brasilia Office, Vincent Defourny, highlighted the fact that the stories depict concrete situations of youth daily life, presenting behavioral challenges with which they continuously face. "In other words, we do not seek to package theory in the form of comics, but depict concrete situations, with a little theory and empirical evidence" he explained.

The comics books address issues such as adolescence, gender, sexual diversity, sexual and reproductive rights and living with HIV / AIDS. Renowned designers such as the Brazilian Eddy Barrows, current artist of Superman (DC Comics) illustrated the comics. Eddy has designed Green Lantern and Spawn. Illustrations made by Julia Bax, Edh Muller and Garfunkel Yure can also be seen in comics.

A teacher’s guide for using the comics in the classroom and a CD-ROM with games, profiles of illustrators, wallpapers and ideas for applying the material in the classroom will improve the pedagogical discussions. The comics will help teachers and students to reflect, learn, and criticize, in a funny way, dilemmas of youth related to alcohol and other drugs besides of to deal with stigma and prejudice.

The project Health and Prevention in Schools is an initiative of the Ministries of Health and Education with the partnership of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Fund and the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).

For the production of comics, UNESCO had resources of UNAIDS Unified Budget and Work Plan (UBW), whose content was built together with the Ministries involved.

Created in 2003, the SPE is mainly aimed to develop strategies for reducing vulnerability of young people through activities of prevention of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and HIV infection. The SPE involves the participation of young people (13-24 years), teachers, school principals, parents, pupils and managers of health and education public systems. Actions are been developed in coordination with schools and basic health units in the States and cities  that have included the SPE in their own educational programs. Currently, the SPE has integrated working groups on health and education in about 600 cities spread over the country.

Contacts for additional information:
Press Office - UNESCO Brazil
Ana Lúcia Guimarães
E-mail: @ ana.guimaraes unesco.org.br / Tel: (61) 21063538

Isabel de Paula
E-mail: @ isabel.paula unesco.org.br / Tel: (61) 21063538

Department of STDs, AIDS and Viral Hepatitis - Press office
Phone: (61) 3306-7016, 3306-7051, 3306-7010 and 3306-7024.
E-mail: imprensa(at)aids.gov.br - Site: www.aids.gov.br

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