In South Africa, approximately 5.5 million people are living with HIV. One of the main strategies the South African Government has used to build HIV prevention awareness and promote behavior change among young people is school-based life skills education. Since 2000, the Horizons Program has conducted research exploring the impact of life skills education and other school-based HIV prevention activities on young South Africans. In contrast to the high HIV prevalence among youth ages 15–24, estimated to be over 10 percent, prevalence for youth ages 10–14 is estimated at just over 1 percent. People aged 10–14 are particularly receptive to messages about abstinence or delaying sex and being faithful. To improve HIV prevention for this age group, Horizons developed a program for sixth- and seventh-grade learners that emphasizes abstinence (A) and being faithful (B), while building upon existing condom (C) knowledge. Horizons also developed an AB life skills curriculum to supplement the school-based program, and a project team developed the Dare to Be Different (D2BD) module, which had a stronger focus on abstinence and partner reduction and helped fill serious gaps in the Life Orientation Curriculum.
Nelson Sapiano, Tobey, Nathi Sohaba, and Eka Esu-Williams. 2008. "'Dare to Be Different': Enhancing life skills education for HIV prevention in South African schools," Horizons Research Summary. Washington, DC: Population Council.