What is HIV/AIDS?
Before we can explain what HIV is you have to know that your body exists of billion cells. Every cell has got its own task to fulfill in your body. Some of these cells are like tiny little soldiers. These little soldiers protect you from viruses. These viruses are like bad intruders. If these bad intruders are inside your body then your soldiers are working hard to get them out. Sometimes you can feel sick because there are a lot of intruders in your body, but mostly the soldiers accomplish to get rid of these intruders.
HIV is also a bad intruder, but HIV works a little bit different than most of the intruders. The HIV intruder can only enter your body by some of your bodily fluids such as blood, semen, vaginal fluids and breast milk. When an HIV intruder is inside your body it is able to kill the soldiers.
So, when an HIV intruder is inside your body, it kills the soldiers which are supposed to protect you. When the number of soldiers reduces until a certain low concentration, you are diagnosed with AIDS.
However, you should know that an HIV intruder and the disease AIDS are not the ones who can actually make you sick or eventually kill you.
Normally your soldiers are with enough men to win the battle against the intruders, but with HIV in your body the amount of soldiers is reduced. So now there are not enough soldiers and your body becomes vulnerable to other intruders (other infections). This is beneficial for the development of infections. Diseases which normally can be fought off by the soldiers can now be lethal. For example, diseases like the common cold, severe pneumonia, tuberculosis, and malaria, of which you can eventually die. These diseases are called opportunistic diseases, they benefit from the presence of the HIV intruder. Thus, the HIV intruder and the disease AIDS are the ones who make your body vulnerable to other intruders, and the opportunistic diseases can eventually kill you.
The disease AIDS is very dangerous for our health, therefore it is important to know how you can get infected. So we are going to play a game. Let’s see how much you already know about HIV/AIDS!
Activity: True or False Game 1
This game is a fun way to test the knowledge of children about HIV and AIDS.
You need: Three areas.
As the teacher you say what the area’s represent. The first area is “False”, the second area is “I don’t know” and the third area is “True”. Then explain that you are going to read statements and the children should go to the area which area represents for them as best answer. Now read a statement (the statements are underlined). Give them the correct answer after they have all chosen an area and explain why this is the correct answer.
- It is possible to get HIV from hugging someone who is HIV positive or someone who has AIDS
You cannot get HIV/AIDS from;
- holding hands, hugging, caressing, kissing
- Close contact with infected people at school, work, or in your village
- Sharing clothes, food, bed towels, etc.
- Insect bites
- Coughing, sneezing
- Using public toilets
It is not safe to share razors, syringes, tooth brushes and needles with someone who is HIV positive or with someone who has AIDS
It is not safe to share sharp piercing objects like needles, razors, syringes or a tooth brush which has blood on it, because then you can come into contact with infected blood.
HIV is the same as AIDS
HIV is the virus (intruder) makes you vulnerable for other diseases by killing the soldiers of your body (immune system). AIDS is the combination of several opportunistic diseases that have attacked the body.
If I have HIV… I cannot have children
This used to be true but not anymore.
Women living with HIV can and do have families. Certain medical steps and precautions have to be taken to protect the child from getting HIV from the mother.