The AIDS epidemic has been with us for the past 6 years. As of October, 1987, 42,000 total cases of AIDS in persons of all ages have been reported, and the number is predicted to increase to 250,000 cases by 1991. Because no vaccine or cure is available, education offers a reasonable approach to prevention. The American Academy of Pediatrics believes that the nation's schools should immediately initiate AIDS education programs as part of a comprehensive health education plan.
ORGANIZATION OF THE PROGRAM
School Health Advisory Committee
AIDS education programs in the schools should be advocated for and supervised by a school health advisory committee or similar school-related organization in each community.1 The committee for each school or district should consist of the school medical advisor, a community pediatrician and/or public health physician, a school nurse, a health educator, a mental health professional, a school administrator, and a faculty member, a parent, and appropriate community representatives. In smaller school systems, a single school health advisory committee should suffice. These programs should be coordinated by the school medical advisor, school administrators, and school nursing supervisor.
Physician and Nurse Training
Physicians, especially pediatricians and family physicians, and school nurses should receive training about AIDS by participating in educational programs sponsored by regional medical centers, state medical societies, state nursing organizations, public health departments, or organizations such as the state chapters of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Those trained would then: (1) conduct education programs for teachers, school administrators, parent groups, community groups, psychologists and other mental health personnel, and students; (2) assist schools and organizations in the development of educational programs for special groups; (3) review, adapt, and develop educational materials; (4) participate in public panel discussions, including radio and television programs; (5) take part in open discussions between school administrators and staff or between administrators and parents; and (6) facilitate networking among parents, educators, and AIDS support groups.
- Copyright © 1988 by the American Academy of Pediatrics