December 1st 2009, All around the world, people will be commemorating World Aids Day. World Scouting, is reminded of its commitment to educating its youth about the dangers and ravages that HIV/AIDS causes to communities around the world. In his message on “World Aids Day” U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon states that “world is seeing signs of progress in reversing the AIDS epidemic in some countries. Investments in the AIDS response are producing results and saving lives. At the same time, in global terms new infections are outpacing the gains achieved in putting people on treatment, and AIDS remains one of the leading causes of premature death globally.”
The spread of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases has led World Scouting, to coordinate with UNAIDS, UNICEF, the World Health Organization and the UNFPA to create educational programs for the emotional and sexual education of young people. These programs integrate both the emotional development of young people, boys and girls, and the prevention of risks related to STDs. The presence of scouting in countries particularly affected by STDs has led NSOs to include these issues in their educational programs as well.
World Scouting has also developed materials to help educating youth on HIV/AIDS. Building on the Gifts for Peace projects focusing on HIV/AIDS many National Scout Organizations are continuing to run projects aimed at prevention and awareness of HIV/AIDS such as the “Red Ribbon” awareness badge. Topics covered include basic facts on HIV/AIDS, reproductive health education, other sexually transmitted diseases, peer education, the role of Scouting in fighting HIV/AIDS and Human Rights.
World Scouting remains committed to its engagement towards helping the fight against HIV/AIDS and will be present in Vienna in 2010 for the UNAIDS conference to continue showing its support.