HIV / AIDS and children


What parliamentarians can do about HIV/AIDS



HIV prevention programme in schools

© UNICEF Mozambique/E.Machiana
Helton (middle), 11 year old, performs the role of a child orphaned by AIDS who is receiving support from his peers. The play is being presented to his classmates as part of the HIV/AIDS School Awareness Programme supported by UNICEF. February 2008.

Maputo, June 2009 - In 2008, UNICEF contracted the firm Ernst & Young to conduct an evaluation of the UNICEF-supported HIV prevention programme in schools. The programme started in Maputo province in 1999 and covered ten out of eleven provinces by 2007.

The Association for People Living with HIV, RENSIDA, has been responsible for the overall coordination and implementation of the programme. In practice, this means that local associations use grassroot activists to provide life skills and orientation sessions to 4th and 5th grade learners in their respective provinces. Learners between the ages of 10-14 years are the key target group of the programme. 

The programme is in line with the approach of the Government and cooperating partners in Mozambique. Key objective of this approach is to raise awareness on HIV as well as on the socio-economic impact as a result of the disease.


The evaluation covered ten provinces where the programme has been implemented and data was collected through questionnaires and focus group discussions. The evaluation made use of a test and a control group and therefore included schools outside of the UNICEF-supported school awareness programme.

Teachers and headmasters of the respective schools were the main source of information, while semi-structured focus group discussion technique was used to gather data from the learners. Additional desk review, mainly an analysis on programme reports and other programme documents served as a secondary source of information.

In order to create a representative sample size, five criteria were taken into account:

  • Geographical sampling: the country’s ten provinces were divided into three categories: North, Centre and South based on socio-economic and geographical dynamics.
  • Number sampling: half of the learners would be girls and the other half would be boys in order to have a gender-balanced sample
  • Intentional sampling: in each province district were selected that would form a triangle on a regular map.
  • Random sampling: to select the learners in the schools a simplified random sample was applied.
  • Convenient and intentional sampling method was applied for the selection of schools outside the programme. Firstly the school participating in the programme would be identified where after a school in the vicinity would be identified which would not be part of the same programme but would have similar characteristics.

A total of 34 ‘programme’ schools and 29 ‘non-programme’ schools participated in the fieldwork.  Overall the five criteria were sufficient to gather the requested results and were representative for all levels. However, only two urban areas were included in the sample which could not allow for urban / rural comparison.

Summary of findings

Despite obstacles in the evaluation (no urban/rural comparison, lack of information on interventions at ‘non-programme’ schools, lack of baseline data), the results obtained through the data collection show that overall positive results were achieved in the programme. Levels of knowledge on HIV/AIDS were around 53%, while data on prevention methods and ways of transmission were even higher. It was identified that the positive results were also due to knowledge sharing by parents or friends.

Regarding the test and control groups, although differences can be observed amongst the various provinces, within the districts and especially within the same localities both schools seem to score the same rates. Further research would be needed to identify what the key factors are for these results.

Overall results:

Knowledge of HIV and AIDS

  • 86% has heard about HIV/AIDS (47% of boys and 53% of girls)
  • 53% knows what HIV and AIDS is (50% boys, 50% girls)

Knowledge on STDs

  • 52% heard about STDs (46% boys, 54% girls)
  • 26% knows the meaning of STD (48% boys, 52 girls)

Diagnosis of HIV / AIDS

  • 59% confirmed that only a test can show whether or not someone is positive (47% boys, 53% girls)

Transmission of HIV and STDs

  • 67% knows how STDs and HIV are being transmitted (51% boys, 49% girls)

Prevention of HIV and STDs

  • 66% of the learners knows ways and means to prevent HIV and STDs (49% boys, 51% girls)

Life Skills

  • 73% revealed that education is important for both boys and girls (50% boys, 50% girls)
  • 48% of the learners stated that boys as well as girls are able to take care of the family (58% boys, 42% girls)
  • 66% says that girls are physically weaker than boys (58% boys, 42% girls).

The evaluation report is available in Portuguese only.





Related publication (Available in Portuguese only)

Avaliação do Programa de Consciencialização sobre HIV e SIDA nas Escolas


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