2.5 Traffic light game (Video)

Objectives:
This module should clarify what are the possible ways of transmitting HIV, and which situations are risky, or risk-free, of contracting HIV. Ultimately, for participants to develop a risk understanding.

Materials:
a red and green circle – the traffic light
illustrative charts labelled with blood, breast milk, semen, vaginal fluid
Objects or charts which are representing possible and impossible ways of transmission, e.g. a razor blade, a syringe set, a sponge, a ball, a plate, a comb and images showing a breastfeeding mother, a mosquito, a kiss and sexual intercourse

Description:
Interactive game with audience participation.

Realization:
In the beginning the different body fluids – sweat, spit, urine, blood and so on – are listed. Only some of them can transmit HIV. Blood, breast milk and sexual fluids are those body fluids that can potentially transmit HIV. The concerning charts are stuck to the wall or blackboard. The speaker gives an example of transmission for each of them. Following, the red circle is put on the side of the risky body fluids, and on the other still empty side, the green circle is put.
The understanding of this information is then checked with the help of objects and charts. The audience is requested to assign the following objects and charts either to the red and risky side or the green and safe side. The assignment is done by gestures and calls. Objects and charts, which are arousing disagreement, are discussed in detail. According to our experiences these are kiss and mosquito.

Duration:
20 Minutes.

Questions:
Why is a kiss safe? What if one has a bleeding wound?
> Answer: Would you kiss somebody who has a bleeding wound? In case of a deep kiss there is a very low risk of infection.

Why don’t mosquitoes transmit HIV?
> Answer: The mosquitoes are digesting the poured blood. With this the HIV is destroyed.

If a man is HIV positive and he is fathering a child is the child going to be positive as well?
> Answer: He can be but does not have to be. The semen contains HIV, but not the sperms of which meet with the egg.

What if somebody wants to take revenge and mixes his blood with drinking water or food?
> Answer: There is no risk of an HIV infection. Both food as well as drinking water is digested. With this the HIV is destroyed. Furthermore, the HIV can only survive for a certain period of time outside the body. This time span is extremely reduced by heat. However, an exact and reliable statement is not possible. [Eventually make stigmatisation the subject of discussion.]

Alternatives:
Depending on the educational level of the audience, more differentiating and scientific answers can be given. For example, that each body fluid contains HIV but only within blood, breast milk and the sexual fluids the concentration is high enough to enable a transmission.

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