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Saving the children: the rich and famous are helping Africa's children in the fight against AIDS. You can too.

* OBJECTIVE

Students should:

* recognize the impact that HIV/AIDS is having on the lives of children in sub-Saharan Africa.

* consider how and why people volunteer to help others.

* BACKGROUND

Based on community mores and/or grade levels, schools differ in how HIV/AIDS is discussed in the classroom. This article focuses on the impact of HIV/AIDS and ways its victims may be helped, not on its biological causes or transmission.

* CRITICAL THINKING

RECALLING DETAILS: What is the connection between a high rate of poverty and a high rate of HIV/AIDS? (Combating HIV/AIDS requires education, quality healthcare, and antiretroviral medications, all of which are expensive.)

COMPREHENSION/FORMING SUPPORTED OPINIONS: Bono calls AIDS "an emergency you can actually deal with." How would you deal with it if you had his fame and wealth? Why? (Answers will vary. Encourage students to think beyond what stars usually do, such as give benefit concerts.)

* ACTIVITIES

CRUNCHING NUMBERS: Have students use the World in Focus charts in the October 17 & 24 issue of JS to compare the per capita GDPs of countries in the regions listed in the bar graph (p. 7) with those regions' rates of HIV infection.

STEPPING UP: If your students are interested in donating to Keep a Child Alive of a similar cause, encourage them to think creatively. Besides raising money, how might they raise others' awareness of the problem, thus encouraging them to help as well?

STANDARDS

SOCIAL STUDIES, GRADES 5-8

* Global connections: That sub-Saharan Africa's HIV/AIDS problems are not limited to Africans alone.

* Civic ideals and practices: How some celebrities use their fame to encourage philanthropy in others.

RESOURCES

PRINT

* McPhee, Andrew T., AIDS (Scholasfic, 2000). Grades 5-7.

* Shein, Lori, AIDS(Thomson Gale, 1998). Grades 0-12.

WEB SITES

* AIDS in Africa interactive map aidsinafrica.nel/map.php

* 9 Million African Kids Lose Mother to AIDS cnn.com/2006/WORLD/africa/03/20/aids.mothers.reut/index.html

Alicia Keys is doing her part. So is Brad Pitt. Count in Will Smith, Elton John, Ashley Judd, and Mos Def. Oh, and don't forget Bono, Avril Lavigne, Chris Tucker, Lucy Liu, and ... All are using their star power to help in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Keys supports a charity called Keep a Child Alive. She recently toured several African countries to see the organization's efforts firsthand. Keep a Child Alive provides free medicines and health care to people with HIV/AIDS.

HIV is a virus that attacks the body's immune system. Left untreated, it can develop into AIDS. The immune system of an infected person is so damaged that even contracting a simple infection can be deadly.

Thanks to drugs called antiretrovirals, it doesn't have to be that way. These medicines can't cure HIV/AIDS, but they can help infected people ward off symptoms for many years. The trouble is, they are very expensive--and the countries hardest hit by the disease are poor.

"Not a Lost Cause"

Sub-Saharan Africa has the world's highest rate of HIV infection, by far (see graph). It also has most of the world's poorest countries. That is no coincidence.

WORDS TO KNOW

Many of those countries have suffered years of revolution and civil war. Poverty and conflict make everything needed to fight the virus hard to come by, including organized healthcare and effective educational systems.

This creates a huge challenge for sub-Saharan Africa, but not an impossible one. "The thing with AIDS," says rock star Bono, "is that it's an emergency you can actually deal with. I have seen what happens in countries like Uganda, which spent all their ... money on education and dealing with AIDS. There have been incredible results turning back the tide of AIDS there. And nearly three times as many children are going to school [now]. So it's not a lost cause."

Appearing on Oprah Winfrey's television show, Alicia Keys explained how she got involved in the cause. "I felt kind of powerless," she said. "So I just asked, 'What is needed?' And one of the main things ... needed was access to medication so that they can save the children." Keys started buying antiretrovirals and shipping them to African health clinics.

You can help too. (See box on p. 7.)

WORDS TO KNOW

* antiretrovirals: drugs that help protect the body from harmful effects of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

* immune system: the body's natural defenses against germs, viruses, and other foreign substances.

How you can help!

You don't need bling or glam to make a difference.* Here are a few things you can do. You probably can think of others.

* RAISE MONEY by holding a car wash, bake sale, talent show, sporting event, or tag sale of used books, clothes, shoes, and toys. (Ask your parents before you sell anything.)

* DESIGN AND SELL T-shirts, buttons, or posters.

* ASK RELATIVES to donate to a worthy cause in place of birthday gifts.

* PUT ASIDE a set amount of money every week for a year, then donate it. Do this with several friends to make a larger contribution.

* FIND a local HIV/AIDS program and ask the question that Keys asked: "What is needed?" You may be able to do more than you think.

* Before volunteering or donating money, ask ,an adult for help in choosing a worthwhile organization.
Living With HIV

Oceania 0.07
Caribbean 0.3
North Africa & Middle East 0.5
Western & Central Europe 0.7
East Asia 0.9
North America 1.2
Eastern Europe & Central Asia 1.6
Latin America 1.8

South & Southeast Asia 7.4

Sub-Saharan Africa 25.8

Note: table made from bar graph.

* DECEMBER 2005 ESTIMATES. SOURCE: UNAIDS,
UNITED NATIONS WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION


* Decide whether each sentence is true, false, or an opinion. Write your answer on the blank line provided.

--1. AIDS is a virus that attacks the body's immune system.

--2. Antiretrovirals have recently become inexpensive.

--3. Right now, there are no medicines that can cure AIDS.

--4. Celebrities should be doing more to battle HIV/AIDS.

--5. North America has 1.2 million people living with HIV.

Answers:

Answers:

1. false; HIV is the virus, AIDS the disease.

2. false; They are very expensive.

3. true

4. opinion

5. true

6. C

7. A

8. B

9. E

10. D

11. Bering Sea

12. Yup'ik

13. igloos

14. catch their first seal

15. tundra

16. B

17. B

18. A

19. C

20. A
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2006, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:NEWS: SPECIAL
Author:Wilmore, Kathy
Publication:Junior Scholastic
Geographic Code:60AFR
Date:May 8, 2006
Words:1066
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