Fourth Grade students at KPS learn about HIV/AIDS
June 21, 2013

Fourth Grade students at KPS learn about HIV/AIDS

Grade 4 pupils of the Kingstown Preparatory School were briefed on HIV/AIDS, discrimination and stigma, during an educational session last Friday at the school.{{more}}

Sydney Joseph, community animator and counsellor, visited the school and spoke with 140 students about the disease, giving them the “arms to fight against HIV/AIDS and stigma and discrimination”.

These “arms” included pamphlets from the National AIDS Secretariat, which outline what happens to the body of an infected person, ways in which someone can get infected and other facts about the disease.

“HIV is not AIDS,” Joseph explained to the students. “This virus is so smart and tricky…you cannot watch somebody and know that they are HIV positive”.

The students did not hide their astonishment; their mouths dropped open and their eyes widened when Joseph revealed that he is HIV positive.

The speaker, who also works with the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Alliance, has been living with HIV for the last 11 years and used himself as an example as to why students should not discriminate against or stigmatize persons with the disease.

He also had no trouble keeping the youngsters’ attention as he incorporated catch phrases into his presentation, such as “So Far, So Good?”, to which students would reply “So Good, So Far”.

This was Joseph’s second visit to the Kingstown Preparatory School to speak about HIV/AIDS.

“They’re bright. They know a lot about life from that age and they might surprise you with the knowledge… so I look at it as nurturing them for the future,” Joseph said, explaining why he had chosen that age group.

Seeking to educate students as much as he can on the topic, Joseph has been giving speeches for the past six years and stated that he has spoken with students all over the Grenadines. He also urges other schools to initiate these visits as well.

“I’m urging all schools…to get this package on board,” he said. (BK)