The World Bank on Monday said education was a "social vaccine" against the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa.
In a report released last week, the bank stated that HIV/AIDS was killing teachers, making orphans of students and generally causing social upheaval that made it difficult for education to reach children.
The "cruel paradox", it said, was that young children, who were now infection-free, were at risk because HIV/AIDS was destroying the ability of countries to deliver the "social vaccine" against the disease.
The bank called for a strengthened role of the education sector in the fight against the pandemic.
"If we want to stop HIV/AIDS, we must promote education: primary education, community education, education at every level," Professor of Education at the University of Zambia, Michael Kelly, confirmed.