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2005-02-09-Bangladesh Students To Be Taught About HIV/AIDS Issues in Schools for First Time
Students in Bangladesh beginning next year will be given lessons about HIV/AIDS issues for the first time,. AFP/Khaleej Times reports. "We've decided to introduce life skills education in our secondary schools, and there will be a full chapter on HIV and AIDS in the upcoming curriculum," Ashabur Rahman, Bangladesh's additional secretary of education, said.
The chapter on HIV/AIDS issues will be drafted with assistance from UNICEF, according to AFP/Khaleej Times. Hannana Begum, head of Bangladesh's curriculum and textbook board, said, "The decision [to teach a chapter on HIV/AIDS] was taken because the number of AIDS cases appears to be rising and adolescents in Bangladesh are very ignorant about sexually transmitted diseases."
A recent survey showed that 20% of married women and 33% of married men in Bangladesh had heard of HIV/AIDS. Although there are a "relatively low number" of HIV/AIDS cases in Bangladesh, the country is "vulnerable" because of the population's minimal awareness of the disease, AFP/Khaleej Times reports.
According to UNAIDS, there were 13,000 HIV-positive people in Bangladesh in 2002, and a study funded by the United Nations in 2004 showed that the number of HIV/AIDS cases in the country had tripled in the last six years (AFP/Khaleej Times, 2/7).