Saving Lives has always believed that defeating HIV stigma begins with better education. We think this can take place anyway – at the football stadium, in the press, online. But of course it is especially powerful when it happens in schools.

People don’t test for HIV often because they are scared – and they are scared in large part because of stigma. Dispelling the prejudice that gathers around HIV but also sexual health in general is crucial to improving lives, health outcomes – and communities.

The Fundamentals,” an educational video series written and presented by Saving Lives trustee Dr Naomi Sutton and GP Becky Foljambe, is here to encourage all young men and women to respect and protect themselves (the “you”), before considering entering into a serious relationship or having a baby (the “two”).

The series of short videos sees Naomi and Becky tackle some of the most pressing issues in Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) Education. These include consent and pressure, sexual health and periods. Accredited by the PSHE Association, the series’ tone is direct but accessible, offering clear but also engaging treatments of their topics – all aimed at the core audience of young people in years 9-10 upwards.

“The aim is to deliver relevant, frank and empowering educational films and lesson plans to secondary school aged children on issues such as sexual consent, healthy relationships, mental resilience, family planning and safety online,” says Naomi.

“These educational areas cannot be taught in disparate pieces, as all are inextricably linked and an adverse event in one area, in particular an unplanned, unwanted pregnancy can then disrupt all the other areas of that young person’s life.”

Saving Lives has provided financial support to the series, and the videos feature the charity’s branding and messaging. We’re extremely proud to have partnered with Dr Foljambe’s charity, You Before Two, in this effort to make PSHE education more relevant, more direct – and more effective.