01.12.2016 - Education Sector

Video lesson on HIV prevention sparked by call for help from Russian teenager

© Vera Brezhneva, singer, actress, and UNAIDS goodwill ambassador; with Katya and Marina, 14-year-old students

A video lesson on prevention of HIV by UNESCO and UNAIDS was created in response to a call for help from 14-year-old student Katya Poliakova after she was asked to present a lesson on HIV at school.

Globally, over 36,7 million people live with HIV and more than one million people in the Russian Federation are registered as living with HIV. In the most populated 26 Russian regions, one in every 200 people is known to be living with HIV, while in some cities HIV affects one in every 50 residents. Of all parts of the world, only Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa failed to halt the spread of HIV

To help teachers in the Russian Federation and other countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia deliver education to best prevent and respond to HIV, UNESCO regional HIV and health education programme based at the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (IITE UNESCO), and UNAIDS Regional Support Group for Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA), created a video lesson on HIV with UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador, Vera Brezhneva.

After the request to Vera Brezhneva from Katya, Ms Brezhneva met her and her friend Marina to record a lesson on HIV. In the video, Ms Brezhneva talks about prevention of HIV, explains why it is important to get tested to detect the disease at an early stage and discusses timely start of lifesaving treatment. The care, support and protection of people living with HIV from discrimination is the focus of discussion.

Discrimination can be countered by acceptance

Ms Brezhneva said: “People living with HIV are just normal people like us. Many of them are very active, they support each other, work to protect their rights. Discrimination is caused by fear, misunderstanding and lack of information. The best way to overcome discrimination – is to demonstrate love and acceptance.

“My elder daughter is 14. As a mom, I show her by example. When I became Goodwill Ambassador, I wanted to show by my example how to take an HIV test. I was a bit worried until I got the result but it is important to know your HIV status to start treatment if required”.

The video is recommended by the Russian Ministry of Education and Science for extracurricular activities on HIV prevention and healthy lifestyle promotion among 14-year old adolescents and older. A brief guide has been developed to provide teachers with tips on the lesson content, structure and facilitation. 

The video and the guide for teachers in Russian can be downloaded by the following links:




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