On Thursday 14 September, the first day of the 5th Panhellenic AIDS & Hepatitis Meeting, Mr. Apostolos Peltekis, Psychologist at the Centre for Life in Thessaloniki, presented a series of particularly interesting research findings from the pilot implementation of the program “HIV prevention program for senior high school students” during the previous school year 2016-17. It is clear that an alarmingly high percentage of participating high school students is ignorant of even the most basic information about HIV infection and safe sexual behaviour, while among them a high percentage of negative attitudes are recorded towards people living with HIV.
The particularly encouraging, however, finding of this study is that students’ knowledge can be broadened and their attitudes shifted to a great extent, as long as they are provided with systematic and scientifically valid information in the most appropriate pedagogical way.
With the permission of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs, the scientific supervision of the National School of Public Health and the approval of the pedagogical suitability by the Institute of Educational Policy, the “HIV prevention program for senior high school students” begins implementation on Monday, September 18, and throughout the current school year, in all senior high schools in Greece, covering the repeated deficiency in the sexual education of the juvenile-pupil population.
Knowledge, education and awareness about HIV infection is really the strongest weapon we have at our disposal for informing the public on both HIV / AIDS prevention and the fight against stigma and discrimination that even to this day, people living with HIV are experiencing.
For her part, the Head of the Legal Service of the Center for Life, Mrs. Chara Papageorgiou, presented the results of the study “HIV Positive Detainees and Access to Social Rights”. This study was conducted by the Social and Legal Service of the Organization, from March 2016 to November 2016 at the Detainees’ Hospital of Korydallos, the Women’s Department of the Korydallos Detention Center, the Detention Facilities of Attika’s Aliens Directorate, the Diavata Detention Center and the Detention Facilities of Thessaloniki’s Aliens Directorate, where criminal offenders and administrative detainees are held.
Among other things, a proposal has been made to establish a co-operation between the Administration and all agents implementing programs within the detention facilities. The purpose of this cooperation will be to jointly record the problems which have been identified and the relevant proposals for resolving them. We propose the drafting of a Memorandum, which will be addressed to the competent authorities, and in particular to the Detention Premises’ Supervision and Control Body operating at the Ministry of Justice and to the Regional Directorate for the Supervision of Health and Safety in Workplaces, which has assumed the task of health control in detention premises.
Read the study here.