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Sexual and Reproductive Health Day is celebratedglobally, on or around Valentine's Day, February 14, encouraging peopleto consider the importance of sexual and reproductive health.


Addressing key issues

The day offers the opportunity to raise global awareness on key sexual health issues including: preventing unintended teenage pregnancy, preventing Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), encouraging interventions to reduce the prevalence of female genital mutilation, AIDS risk reduction interventions and increasing HIV awareness, prevention and treatment.


An opportunity for further HIV prevention and treatment measures

According to the UNAIDS Report 2012, around 34 million people around the world are currently living with HIV and 3.3 million of them are under the age of 15. Every day nearly 7000 people contract HIV - nearly 300 every hour. (UNAIDS Report 2012).


The UNAIDS Report calls on the need for further HIV prevention services needed, which have been shown to be extremely effective; in countries where there has been a concurrent scale up of HIV prevention and treatment programmes there has also been a drop in new HIV infections to record lows.

How education plays a role


Education can provide the social vaccine needed, offering a real chance at a productive life. Not only is education essential for preventing HIV, preventing HIV is essential for education.


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In 2002, the UNAIDS Inter-Agency Task Team on Education (see leaflet) established a working group –known as the "˜Accelerate Initiative Working Group’ –to support countries in sub-Saharan Africa as they "˜accelerate the education sector response to HIV and AIDS’. The philosophy of the Accelerate Initiative is to promote bottom-up planning and activism, informed by regional and national, proven examples of good practice.


More useful links

Read more on the importance of HIV Education and particularly how teachers can also share their knowledge and experience with school children to encourage HIV prevention.