For Educators

AIDS: Responding to a Health Crisis – Background


Around the world, governments, institutions, and individuals are struggling to deal with epidemic levels of HIV/AIDS infection. How communities and nations address AIDS reflects their values and beliefs, as well as the level of resources they are able to devote to this devastating illness. In this lesson, students learn about different approaches to dealing with AIDS in different countries/cultures — in particular, how attitudes and values about behaviors associated with AIDS affect the choices leaders and governments make in trying to treat and contain the disease. Resources include segments from RELIGION & ETHICS NEWSWEEKLY, Web sites, and interviews. As a culminating activity, students undertake a service project related to HIV/AIDS.

Grade Level:

Grades 9-12

Time Allotment:

This lesson [unit] can carry over anywhere from a few days to several weeks, depending on the level of interest and commitment to the topic.

Subject Matter:

Science, health, social studies, English/ language arts, religion.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Understand basic facts about HIV/AIDS and how the virus is transmitted
  • Identify practices and behaviors that lower the risk of HIV infection
  • Compare approaches in several nations/communities to HIV/AIDS prevention
  • Interview guest speakers who work with HIV/AIDS patients and/or do related research
  • Plan and carry out a community service project to assist AIDS patients


Click here to see the academic standards for this lesson plan.