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Surviving AIDS

Viewing Ideas


Before Watching

  1. Review with students the difference between bacterial and viral infections and have students list examples of each (bacteria are live organisms that cause infections such as tuberculosis or pneumonia; viruses are nonliving particles that can only reproduce inside of a living cell using the cell's machinery and can cause illnesses such as colds or the flu). Outline how antibodies, helper T cells and killer T cells work in the immune system and how vaccines work.

  2. Discuss the difference between HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) (HIV is the virus that causes AIDS; HIV can remain dormant in the body for years before developing into the disease known as AIDS, the onset of which is marked by a drop in helper cells and the start of certain illnesses.)

After Watching

  1. People sometimes have to make critical health decisions without knowing the outcome for certain, such as John Cerevasky who stopped his antiviral therapy to find out how his immune system would react on its own. Ask students what they might have done if they were in that situation. What factors go into making such a decision? What kind of information would you want to have before making a decision like that?

  2. Although AIDS is the leading cause of death worldwide, the disease that causes it is totally preventable. Have students design a prevention education campaign that would appeal to their peers. What is the most important message to get across? What would be the most persuasive way to send that message?

Teacher's Guide
Surviving AIDS
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