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Visual learning approaches to HIV/AIDS education

Year: 2007
Working paper number: 188
Author: Wienand, Annabelle
Unit: ASRU

Education is one of the cornerstones to any successful campaign to address the spread and impact of the AIDS epidemic.  This is particularly relevant in Sub-Saharan Africa where HIV prevalence is highest in the world and resources are limited. Education is often associated with prevention messages focusing on ways of reducing the spread of the virus.  Based on the argument that increased knowledge of HIV results in a reduction in stigma and increased Voluntary Counselling and Testing, this paper focuses on education that aims to increase biomedical knowledge about HIV/AIDS. This paper assesses a participatory workshop used to train HIV/AIDS educators and suggests that participatory approaches to HIV/AIDS education, such as drawing, role play, collage and other art-based activities, are powerful tools that engage participants and result in better understanding of the biology of HIV/AIDS, as well as larger social issues.  The use of a Visual Body Map was central to the workshop and learning experience. A Visual Body Map is an educational tool and visual representation of the human body including each system in the body.  Therefore this study also evaluates the efficacy of the Visual Body Map as an educational tool with the view to suggesting that visual learning is a highly effective approach to HIV/AIDS education, especially in contexts where formal schooling and literacy are limited.

Publication file: WP188.pdf