HIV/AIDS is one of those things that people know a lot more about today than they used to. The treatment is that much better and it’s much easier for people to get what they need in order to thrive, even if they have the disease.

But, sadly, there is still stigma and struggles that are associated with HIV/AIDS and, because of that, education about the disease is a lot more important than it has ever been before. What should be included in AIDS education? What parts are vital for us to consider? Here’s a quick look at what I believe is important to include in AIDS education.

What the disease is

HIV/AIDS is a disease that affects the immune system, and while there are still arguments about the whereabouts of the disease, the fact is, it’s something that many people deal with today. While most of the diagnoses are in developing countries, there is still a significant population in developed nations like the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. HIV is spread by having sex with someone that has HIV or AIDS; sharing needles with someone that has HIV or AIDS, being born to or drinking breast milk from a mother that has HIV or AIDS, or sharing bodily fluids in another manner.

How to prevent AIDS from spreading

Learning about HIV/AIDS means that we’re more aware of what is going on with the disease and it’s easier to talk about it. And, as a result of that, we’re more ready to deal with prevention. Education allows us to prevent HIV/AIDS from spreading more, and keeps our communities healthy and safe.

How to interact with and care for someone with AIDS

AIDS education should always include how to treat people with HIV/AIDS so that they can have respect and live their best, healthiest life possible. By interacting with and caring for people with AIDS in a way that is faithful to their personhood, it allows all of us to live healthier, better lives as well.

What living with HIV/AIDS looks like today

Lastly, education should include a look at what living with HIV/AIDS looks like right now. I know that it can seem strange to talk about some of these topics, but it’s important to recognize that many people with HIV/AIDS live normal lives. They may have to make some adjustments or take medication, but otherwise, they look just like everyone else that is out there. I’ve had HIV/AIDS patients share their experiences in educational settings and it has been a really beneficial thing for everyone involved.

HIV/AIDS isn’t as scary as it seems, and getting information about the syndrome can be a really beneficial way to ensure that our communities are healthy and safe, and that people who already have HIV/AIDS can get the help they need. I definitely recommend that you find ways to help educate your community about HIV/AIDS in a way that is helpful to everyone in your community.