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HIV Myths and facts

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  1. HIVMyths and facts Michelle Reid Jill Hellings George House Trust Barnardo’s

  2. A whirlwind tour of HIV… • Myths and facts • Good practice in schools • Legal frameworks • Stigma • Where can you go for help

  3. Play your HIV cards right…

  4. Higher or lower? • There are 27 million people living with HIV worldwide • HIGHER • There are 33 million people

  5. Higher or lower? • Since it began, the AIDS epidemic has claimed 20 million lives • HIGHER • AIDS has so far killed 25 million people

  6. Higher or lower? • HIV infects 3 people every minute • HIGHER • HIV infects 5 people every minute

  7. Higher or lower? • Worldwide, people under 25 account for 60% of all new HIV infections • LOWER • People under 25 account for 50% of new HIV infections

  8. True or false? • Mosquitos can transmit HIV • FALSE • Insects cannot transmit HIV

  9. Higher or lower? • There are 60,000 people living with HIV in the UK today • HIGHER • There are 77,400 people living with HIV in the UK today

  10. True or false? • Around 20,000 people with HIV in the UK are unaware of their condition • TRUE

  11. Higher or lower? • There are c.10,000 people living with HIV in the North West • LOWER • There are 5,212 people diagnosed in the North West

  12. Higher or lower • There are 100 children and young people living with HIV in the North West • HIGHER • There are 131 children and young people (under 19) living with HIV

  13. Higher or lower • There are c.100 people living with HIV in Trafford • HIGHER • Latest figures state there are 179 diagnosed people in Trafford

  14. True or false? • Children could transmit HIV to each other during social contact • FALSE • There is no record of transmission through social contact in 25 years of HIV

  15. True or false? • HIV is a Child Protection issue • FALSE • HIV in itself is not a CP issue. Circumstances within the family may lead to CP issues

  16. True or false • If a child or parent discloses HIV then you are obliged by Health and Safety law to tell your staff. • FALSE • You are not obliged to tell anyone about a child’s or parent’s HIV status

  17. True or false • If a member of staff discloses HIV then you are obliged by Health and Safety law to tell governors and parents. • FALSE • You are not obliged to tell anyone about an employee’s HIV status

  18. Terminology • Infected children are living with the virus themselves • Affected children have family members living with the virus • Infected children may not know their status

  19. Childhood

  20. Childhood & HIV

  21. Childhood & HIV & everyone knowing

  22. Quote • “It’s like all the teachers know, and it’s like they always come up to me when I’m around my friends and say things like ‘How are you, how’s your Mum?’ And friends look at me and wonder ‘How come they ask?’ – and I don’t really like it if you know what I’m saying.” (Affected child – from “HIV in Schools”)

  23. Quote • “At school I found it difficult knowing that I have HIV and that I couldn’t talk to anyone …Talking to a teacher about your situation was too risky; you hear about young people who have told one teacher in confidence and soon every teacher in the school knew about it…

  24. What’s happening today in the North West? • Temporary exclusion when school first learn of the diagnosis due to panic and shock • Refusal to teach a child at all • Requirement that the child’s diagnosis is shared with all other teachers, schools staff, governors and sometimes parents • Child is treated differently • Today’s conference

  25. A family’s experience ‘John has still not got a school place. Jane went to xxx school and told the Head that she needed a school for John and she told him about John’s HIV status. The Head said he could not agree to take John as he would need to consult with other parents and staff to let them know about John’s HIV. He also asked how John became HIV positive’ (from case notes)

  26. Emerging Issues • Risk of sharing information – cannot assume that a school will act inclusively and within the law • Children’s information travels with them on their journey from one school to another • Younger children lose their confidentiality at an early stage • Examples of GPs, school staff sharing information without consent

  27. Martin’s experience ‘My school does know about my HIV status and they have treated me very badly. Once when I had a cold sore they locked me in a room for four hours because my mum and dad couldn’t come and collect me – they thought I would give HIV to the other students, they also watch me all the time. My mum was very angry with the school and I think she rang them up to shout at them.’

  28. What’s driving the change?

  29. The stick… • Disability Discrimination Act • Access to Education • Special Educational Needs and Disability Act • Code of Practice for Schools Disability Rights Commission (2002/5) • Data Protection Act • Every Child Matters • External scrutiny

  30. The carrot…. • Best practice • Every child matters • Good employer • Good provider • Global awareness • Good citizenship • Knowledge = Power

  31. Helpful questions • Is HIV mentioned in school policies – such as policies for inclusion, the general school, sex and relationships education –and in school documents such as the prospectus or mission statement? • Do all staff, including teachers and support staff, receive training in HIV transmission and an awareness of the stigma faced by those affected or infected with the virus? • Is HIV awareness part of your school development plan? • Does the entire school community have an understanding of the issues raised by HIV, particularly stigma • Are you following universal first aid procedures? • Who are your named first aiders and when is their training review

  32. Policy statement suggestion • [Name of school] acknowledges that chronic illness such as diabetes, HIV and hepatitis can impact on the child and their family in varying degrees, mainly on attendance, behaviour and educational attainment. [Name of school] aims to create a supportive environment and recognises that a child living with or affected by a chronic illness has the right to access education and that support will be provided to the child and their family.

  33. If a child tells you about his/her own status or parents’ status • Reassure the child that this information will be kept confidential. • Explain that the school wants to support the pupil and has simple systems to do this. • Suggest that the child tells his or her parents about the information you have been told, and arrange for the parents to come to meet you.

  34. If a parent tells you about HIV status • Reassure the parent that this information will be kept confidential. • Explain that the school wants to support all its pupils and that there is a simple system for supporting infected and affected children. • Explain the system and the different roles staff have in these systems. • Ask consent to arrange a meeting with other appropriate members of staff, the parent and child (where appropriate). • The parent may choose to involve the school nurse. • Organise the meeting with appropriate staff, parent and child (where appropriate).

  35. Getting the message right…

  36. We’re in this together… • Happy to come along and talk to governors, schools, school nurses etc. and to help schools develop inclusive policies • Positive Speakers Programme • World AIDS Day awareness

  37. Campaign pressure We’re asking Government to: • Provide schools with specific guidance on their responsibilities to people living with HIV under the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 • Ensure schools are maintaining the confidentiality of HIV-positive pupils and staff members • Ensure the changes to sex and relationships education produce a curriculum which addresses both the facts about HIV and teaches young people to be supportive and non-discriminatory of those living with HIV.

  38. National Children’s Bureau • HIV in Schools - Good practice guide to supporting children infected or affected by HIV- Magda Conway • Teaching & Learning about HIV: A teaching resource for Keystage 1-4. • – access the above information from this website along with details from the Children & Young People HIV Network which develops national policy & good practice for issues relating to children/young people living with/affected by HIV.

  39. National AIDS Trust “HIV in Schools” Pack • HIV Facts • Lesson Plans - key stage 3 • Lesson Plans – key stage 4 • Teaching about HIV in PHSE • Assemblies and other ideas • Further information and resources • 0207 814 6729

  40. Useful contacts • publications • – Children with AIDS Charity, a national organisation which provides information & resources. • www.avert – young person’s website including fun & informative quizzes. • – website with ordering facility for informative booklets including “HIV & Children”. • – National AIDS Trust is the UK’s leading HIV & AIDS policy development & advocacy organisation. • – website/publication produced by women for women. .

  41. Thanks for listening

  42. Michelle Reid 0161 274 4499 Jill Hellings jill.hellings@ 0161 273 2901 Contact details