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Times Of India
04 Dec 2012
Pune, India.

A sexual health and value education module created for raising awareness about HIV/AIDS has got a positive response from schools, NGOs and organizations.

The module, titled ‘Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health Education’, has been developed by citybased National AIDS Research Institute (NARI).

"Schools in Pune where the intervention study was conducted have requested for the module. It is being used by Network of Maharashtra by People Living with HIV (NMP+), network of people living with HIV/ AIDS, a network of people living with HIV and a network of female sex workers," said NARI senior researcher Seema Sahay.

Manoj Pardesi, director of Network of Maharashtra by People Living with HIV (NMP+), an NGO formed and run by HIV positive people, said, "We have been using the NARI module for six months now and all our members in five districts have immensely benefited from it. The module has empowered them and made them aware of their sexual and reproductive health rights."

The NARI had conducted a session for dissemination of the module at the Indian Habitat Centre, New Delhi, on July 29 last year. The meeting was presided over by Vishwa Mohan Katoch, director general, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and secretary, department of health research of the Union government. Over 60 delegates from the National Council for Educational Research and Training, Central Institute of Education, national and international NGOs, delegates from ICMR and its Institutes, International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, academicians, educationists, researchers attended the meeting.

The module has been distributed to five district–level networks and five key population organizations Network of Positive People, Maharashtra chapter (NMP+ (network of positive people from Maharashtra) who have around 35 partners (one in each district) in Maharashtra. The book was used during training at the district–level and state–level. The NMP+ have also used this book for Saksham project which is supported by the Unicef.

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The module has been developed by social scientists, anthropologists, gynaecologists, paediatricians and psychologists, along with principal investigators of Nari. The module was tested by the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) at Lucknow, Delhi, Thiruvananthapuram, Kolkata, Jaipur and Pune.

The module contains six chapters that talk about life skills development, growing up concerns and nutrition, body image and adolescent sexual behaviour, reproductive and sexual health hygiene, inter–personal and gender relationships and understanding RTIs (reproductive tract infection), STIs (sexually transmitted infections, HIV/AIDS.

A chapter with self–explanatory slides for easy understanding takes just 45 minutes to read. In addition, at the end of each chapter, there are FAQs with answers. Socio–religious sensitivity has been taken into account while framing the module. The module is available at NARI and it can be used for teachers and training organizations.

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