It cannot be stated often enough that the ultimate goal of AIDS education is to influence students to avoid behaviors that put them at risk of HIV infection. Informing students of which behaviors are risky and which are safer lets them know the risks, but does nothing to motivate them to change their own actions. In order to actually affect student behaviors, teachers must first influence student attitudes.
This chapter will address methods by which teachers can influence their students’ attitudes and behaviors through instructing them on healthy behavior, helping them to recognize problem situations in which risks might arise, and presenting them with skills to protect themselves in such situations. Behavior will not change until beliefs and attitudes about safer behavior have shifted toward a more accepting position. Teachers can influence what students believe about HIV risk behavior through such approaches as teaching refusal skills to help students understand, recognize, and avoid high-risk situations, and disseminating accurate peer group statistics so