Building peace in the minds of men and women

World AIDS Day

1 December

Every year on 1 December, UNESCO stands together with UNAIDS, co-sponsors and other partners for World AIDS Day.

While considerable progress has been made towards ending AIDS as a public health threat, the HIV epidemic is not over and young people remain disproportionately at risk. In 2020 alone, 410,000 young people between the ages of 10 to 24 were newly infected with HIV, of whom 150,000 were adolescents between the ages of 10 and 19. Moreover, comprehensive knowledge of HIV among young people remains far too low, with only one in three demonstrating accurate knowledge.

Comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) is essential for young people to be able to protect themselves from HIV. It also helps young people avoid unintended pregnancy and other sexually transmitted infections, encourages them to seek out health-related information and services, promotes values of tolerance, mutual respect and non-violence in relationships, and supports a safe transition into adulthood.

UNESCO’s work on education and HIV, in particular its strategic priorities of increasing access to quality comprehensive sexuality education and making education safe and inclusive, is a key part of the global AIDS response. UNESCO supports national education authorities and partners to strengthen their existing curricula and adapt content and approaches to their local context.

MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL

"The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the connections between education, health, and equality. It has also reminded us that accurate information is one of our most powerful public health tools. The education sector has a transformative role to play in promoting the health and well-being of all learners and ending inequalities, stigma and discrimination. That is why UNESCO is proud to announce, on the occasion of World AIDS Day 2021, the launch of a new set of recommendations on meeting the needs of young people living with HIV". Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO on the occasion of World AIDS Day

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