Sex education 101

Estimated worldwide HIV infections: 61 198 024 at noon on Wednesday February 9 2005.

From next year students in Bangladesh will be given lessons about HIV/Aids issues for the first time.

The decision to introduce life skills and HIV/Aids education in secondary schools was taken because the number of Aids cases appears to be rising in India and adolescents in Bangladesh are very ignorant about sexually transmitted diseases.

Hannana Begum, head of Bangladesh’s curriculum and textbook board, said: ‘A recent survey showed that 20% of married women and 33% of married men in Bangladesh had heard of HIV/Aids.

Although there are a ‘relatively low number” of HIV/Aids cases in Bangladesh, the country is ‘vulnerable” because of the population’s minimal awareness of the disease. According to UNAids, there were 13 000 HIV-positive people in Bangladesh in 2002, and a study funded by the United Nations in 2004 showed that the number of HIV/Aids cases in the country had tripled in the past six years.

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