- Research in advance the availability and cost of testing in your local area so you can share this information with the girls.
Two small balls
- To demonstrate the importance of testing.
- To show that you cannot tell if someone is HIV positive just by looking at them.
- Divide the participants into two groups of equal numbers and ask them to stand very closely in two lines facing one another, with their shoulders touching.
- Take the tennis balls (or any other two items that are easy to hold in the palm of your one hand, such as a pen) and say the following: “For the purpose of this exercise we are going to say that these balls (or other items) represent HIV. I’m going to give each group a ball (item) and ask you to pass the ball to each other behind your backs. Now you need to make sure that you stand very close to one another and that you move and sway while you are passing the ball. You can pass the ball in whichever direction you wish. After a short while I will ask you to stop passing the ball and each group will need to identify which person in the opposite group is holding the ball. It’s important that you pass the ball as ‘secretly’ as possible to the person standing next to you. Let’s begin!”
- Give each team a ball (item) and instruct them to begin passing the ball up and down their line without enabling the other team to see who is holding the ball. If there are gaps in the line encourage the participants to stand more closely together. After a couple of minutes ask everyone to stop passing the ball. Ask a member from one group to identify who is holding the ball (item) in the other group. Once the answer has been received, ask a second participant the same question. Then ask the opposite team the same question. Everyone will soon realise that it’s impossible to tell just by looking at someone who is holding the ball, or symbolically, who has HIV.
- Finish the activity with a discussion of the key messages:
a. You cannot tell if someone is HIV- positive just by looking at them.
b. Testing is the only way to tell for sure if you are HIV-positive.
c. Even if you are HIV-positive there are ways to take care of yourself to stay healthy.