HIV/Aids education – teaching program of ethics for high school

How to teach about AIDS in High School Ethics Class – to think how society should be and how human beings should live

– Izumi Otani, Kokubunji High School, Tokyo, Japan Contact email:


I have been involved in developing and practicing bioethics education for these ten years. Considering this experience, I want to propose a class program that contains not only gaining precise information about HIV/AIDS but also thinking with high school students how society and human beings should be in this era when we have to deal and live with AIDS.
As the “present-day plague”, HIV/AIDS has been discussed sometimes with fear, sometimes with curiosity, and in many cases with prejudice. But after several panics happened, in Japan AIDS education in health education classes at elementary, junior high, and high school become popular, little by little now. And as civics classes of high school, in ‘present society’ and ‘politics and economics’ classes, AIDS is taught as a medical accident. But many worry that in this context the essential problems of AIDS have not been discussed.
I want to report a teaching program of ethics in civics taking AIDS as a main topic, with universal issues of HOW people and society should be. It includes issues such as the cultural history of disease, psychological structure of prejudice, information and panic, alienation and evasion, politics of sexuality


Source: Bioethics in and from Asia: The Fifth International Tsukuba Bioethics Roundtable, and Intensive Cross-Cultural Bioethics Course (TRT5) 20-23 November, 1999

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