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In the absence of a medical vaccine against HIV infection, research shows that educating individuals about actions they can take to protect themselves is the most…
In the absence of a medical vaccine against HIV infection, research shows that educating individuals about actions they can take to protect themselves is the most effective means to control the epidemic. School-based HIV/AIDS education programs are premised on this assumption and are considered the best social vaccine to influence young people's attitudes, behaviors, and knowledge about HIV infection, prevention, and access to treatment and care. Drawing upon a larger ethnographic study, we use a tripartite analytic framework for understanding HIV/AIDS-related education to examine how schools in western Kenya implement HIV/AIDS education programs. Findings reveal that the implementation of these programs is context-driven and contested along patterns of sociocultural beliefs, religious morals, economic challenge, and a wider crisis in education. We argue for de-localization of principals and teachers and that HIV/AIDS education programs should not only be informational, but also empowering and focused on the individual as well as the context within which the individual functions.
Laban Ayiro holds a PhD in Entrepreneurship Development, an MA in International Relations, an MSc in Entrepreneurship Development, and a BEd in the teaching of Chemistry. He worked for many years as a Senior Deputy Director for Policy and Planning in the Ministry of Education and was instrumental in the development of the HIV/AIDS Education Sector Policy in Kenya. He teaches at Moi University in Kenya and his areas of specialization include Research Methods and Statistics, Entrepreneurial Management, Management Information Systems and Leadership, and Policy Studies. Dr. Ayiro is a Senior Fulbright Scholar having been on a research program at the University of Texas A&M in the United States in 2011–2012.