UNESCO’s contribution to the ‘Health Chapter’ of the Mauritius Strategy relates mainly to the HIV/AIDS pandemic and encouraging actions to combat complacency, challenge stigmatization, overcome the tyranny of silence, and promote more caring attitudes. In cooperation with the co-sponsors of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV & AIDS, UNAIDS, Member States, civil society partners and the private sector, UNESCO’s contribution to the fight against the pandemics concentrates on integrating HIV & AIDS preventive education into the global development agenda and national policies, adapting preventive education to the diversity of needs and contexts, and encouraging responsible behaviour and reducing vulnerability. Fighting HIV & AIDS through preventive education is no single-point programme. It is directed towards five core tasks:
- Advocacy at all levels
- Customizing the message
- Changing risk behaviour
- Caring for the infected and affected
- Coping with the institutional impact of HIV/AIDS.
Prevention is not only the most economical response - it is the most patent and potent response, which seeks to change behaviour by providing knowledge, fostering attitudes and conferring skills through culturally sensitive and effective communication. An approach based on human rights is fundamental for both providing preventive education and treatment as well as in combating stigma and improving living conditions of the infected and the affected.
Further information is provided through a discreet website on UNESCO's Response to HIV &AIDS. This site provides links to various components of UNESCO’s work on the pandemic, including:
- Global Initiative on Education and HIV & AIDS (EDUCAIDS)
- UNAIDS Inter-Agency Task Team on Education
- HIV and AIDS Education
- Culture, HIV & AIDS
- HIV and AIDS Communication and Information
- Science, HIV & AIDS
- Human Rights, HIV and AIDS
- Young People and HIV & AIDS
- Gender-Sensitive Response to HIV and AIDS
- Clearinghouses on HIV and AIDS, including those operated by the International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) and the International Bureau of Education (IBE) and the field offices in Bangkok, Dakar, Harare, Nairobi and Santiago. Access is also provided here to the Monthly Newsletter of the HIV and AIDS Education Clearinghouse.
With this as background and context, the handful of examples that follow provide an idea of UNESCO’s recent, ongoing and future activities relating to HIV & AIDS in particular island regions and settings such as the Caribbean.
- Caribbean: Promoting the Inclusion of Effective HIV/AIDS Mitigation and Prevention Policies
- Responding to HIV& AIDS in the Asia-Pacific Region
- Creativity, Arts and 'Edutainment' Based Approaches
- Young Television Producers and HIV & AIDS
- Youth Visioning for Island Living
- HIV/AIDS' and '60 Minutes to Convince'
- Participation Programme
- UNESCO Focal Points for ‘HIV/AIDS’ in SIDS Regions