The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Programme of Education for the Prevention of AIDS was established in 1988. The Programme aims to provide technical assistance to UNESCO member states and NGOs worldwide to help them develop and implement educational strategies for the prevention of AIDS adapted to their own specific socio-cultural context. The Programme operates an AIDS School Education Resource Centre (ASERC) in Paris and Bangkok, and one is planned for Dakar.
The South Pacific Commission's Pacific Islands AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases Prevention Project supports the member island countries' national AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases (STD) prevention programmes as well as the minimization of the impact of HIV infection and STD through support and assistance to the national education and prevention programmes. Activities supported have included: radio and television spots in New Caledonia; radio spots in Tonga; school education materials in Papua New Guinea; pamphlets and other materials in the Federated States of Micronesia and French Polynesia; drama and theatre in New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, and Vanuatu; public information campaigns in the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam. The SPC has established over 100 in-country Resource Centres in all but one of its island member countries. Centres contain among others, school and public libraries, Ministries of Education, and have been selected so that the surrounding communities have easy access to the aids related educational materials supplied on a regular basis. Distributed materials include significant amounts of pamphlets, posters, articles, books, slides, audio cassettes and videos. In 1993, the booklet Understanding AIDS, initially a United Nations publication, has been revised by the Project and has been distributed in English and French and translated into 30 Pacific Island languages. More than 500 copies of the video Like Any Other Lover, a story about a Pacific islander infected with AIDS, have been distributed and shown on television in several island countries. A theatre group also performed the story in four island countries.
In 1994, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies published the Sex Education and Home Based Care Handbooks, the Manual and Action Kit on AIDS, and Blood Donor Counselling Guidelines.
Those who ignore culture are doomed to failure in Africa. Outsiders who ran a workshop on AIDS in Angola came to pass on their knowledge about transmission and prevention. They left having obtained new understandings of cultural practices such as initiation rites, scar-tattooing, blood brother practices, means of breaking the umbilical cord, polygamy and traditional marriage and healing practices. Only then did they come to understand why their education and awareness programmes had not resulted in higher use of condoms or lowered rates of infection. They had not known enough about local cultural norms and values on sexuality.