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Document Abstract
Published: 2007

Making the connections: why literacy matters for HIV prevention

In many countries resources for improving literacy are virtually non-existent
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Illiterate women and men cannot access written information, meaning they remain unaware of many national and international issues affecting them that are increasingly being communicated through printed materials. This document from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) looks at the relationship between literacy and HIV prevention education. The authors have identified the wide range of non-formal education (NFE) efforts that address not only HIV prevention but also HIV treatment and care.

The report concludes that at the country level, resources for the literacy sub-sector remain practically nonexistent. In most countries, less than one per cent of the overall education budget is devoted to literacy and non-formal education. It is clear that in addition to funding coherent and suitable programmes, policies need to be formulated in order to take on the tremendous challenge of promoting literacy. These policies must not only ensure that people learn to read and write, but also create a literate environment that enables people to build on what they have learned. In other words, individuals who learn to read and write should subsequently be able to use their knowledge for self-fulfilment and actively contribute to the socio-economic development of their country.

[adapted from author]
Available en francais
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C Medel-AƱonuevo; D. M. Cheick

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