Focus on the risks most likely to occur among the learners, and those that cause the most harm to the individual and society. Some issues attract media attention and public concern but these may not be the most prevalent or most harmful. The program objectives, teaching methods, and materials need to be appropriate to the age, gender, sexual experience, and culture of children and young people and the communities in which they live. Both direct and indirect factors need to be considered; for example, understanding gender and power relations and reducing violence, alcohol and drug use should be integral to programs, along with other factors where they are evident in the lives of learners. Well targeted research, including listening to what young people believe and already know, can help to address motivation for behaviour, and to ensure an acceptable and appropriate program.
Recognizing the child
Recognize what the learner already knows, feels, and can do, in relation to healthy development and HIV/AIDS related risk prevention. Individuals and communities often have established mechanisms and practices for supporting children and young people to learn and develop, and these should be embraced not overlooked. Encouraging learning from each other - peer to peer, teacher, family and community - integrates the unique and valuable knowledge and experience of learners which can make school programs more relevant and effective. Some learners will be more affected by HIV/AIDS than others, already caring for others who are sick, living with HIV/AIDS or orphans themselves. Working towards ensuring that all learners are healthy, well-nourished, ready to learn, and supported by their family and community to access and complete their education, should be the starting point for effective teaching and learning.