Hundreds of teachers trained on HIV/AIDS-prevention education

An UN inter-agency effort in the Republic of Congo (ROC) has so far trained 1,939 teachers on HIV/AIDS- prevention education methods involving the active participation of students, Brenda Bowman, the project administrator, has told IRIN.

The US $668,504 Project for the Prevention of AIDS in Congolese Schools - known as Presiec - aims to instil responsible sexual behaviour in students, she said on 4 November. The effort has already led to the instruction of 57 teachers on support of clubs centring on aspects of family life, whereby peer-educators are trained and instructed on life education and HIV/AIDS.

In addition, 3,099 students have already been trained as peer-educators. Research into behaviour, attitudes and practices relating to AIDS has already been conducted among 1,129 students, 1,472 students and 264 parents.

The project was launched at the initiative of several UN agencies that have helped coordinate the efforts of government and civil society to provide HIV/AIDS training, epidemiological surveillance, encouragement in the use of condoms, access to treatment, and help for HIV-positive people and AIDS orphans.

Guili Tsoumou-Gavouka, the director of communication at the UN Development Programme in the ROC capital, Brazzaville, said the aim of the project, was to reinforce the capability of staff at the ministries of health and of national education to help present HIV/AIDS.

"Presiec has broken the silence about HIV/AIDS and created an environment in which sexuality can be discussed frankly," Tsoumou-Gavouka said.