What Is Positively Speaking?
Since 1992 program staff have scheduled classroom speakers so that students can hear an important life-saving message. Presentations made in health classes of the Los Angeles Unified School District are funded by grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Adolescent School Health.
What Is a Positively Speaking Presenter?
A Positively Speaking presenter is an individual infected with HIV or someone who has been personally affected by the disease. Speakers have received specialized training, preparing them to share their personal story on how HIV has impacted their lives. Bringing presenters into the classroom helps students understand public health issues and societal views as required by California Education Codes 51930-51939 regarding AIDS prevention-education. Positively Speaking presenters are selected by local coordinating agencies. Presenters then receive 16 hours of specialized training conducted by local agency staff in conjunction with the project coordinators.
What is the speaker being trained on?
Medically accurate information regarding HIV/AIDS
School district policies and legal issues concerning HIV/AIDS instruction
Developmental issues facing adolescents
Appropriate techniques for answering sensitive questions
Presenting prevention messages that support behavioral change
What Are the Goals of the Positively Speaking Program?
Support school districts in implementing mandated HIV/AIDS education by training presenters appropriately for public school classrooms
Put a human face on the AIDS epidemic and make AIDS "real"
Promote abstinence based prevention-education and healthy decision-making
Build mutual caring and compassion between young people and persons with HIV/AIDS
Promote collaboration between schools Student/Teacher Comments About Positively Speaking Presentations
Nancy Ramos, Positively Speaking Coordinator (213) 241-3518 email@example.com
Steps on How to Book a Speaker from Positively Speaking
1) Things to consider before booking a Positively Speaking Speaker
Parent Notification forms must be sent home with your students a minimum of 14 days prior to a Positively Speaking Presentation. This is California Education Code.
Presentations are single classroom presentations, and not designed for an auditorium setting.
We cannot provide PS Presentations for less than 3 classroom presentations on a scheduled day.
Example of such requests: “I need speakers for Period 4 ONLY”
Scheduling speakers with large time gaps in between classroom presentations is difficult for us to arrange and unfair to the speakers already there.
Example of such requests: “I need speakers for Periods 1, 2, and 5 ONLY”
Solution: Ask a fellow Health teacher if they may want to share the Presenters with you for the scheduled day.
2) Instructions for booking a Positively Speaking Speaker
- Go to http://www.aidspreventionlausd.net
- Click on the tab that says TEACHERS and SCHOOL STAFF.
- Click on the tab for POSTIVELY SPEAKING.
- Scroll to the section regarding SPEAKER REQUEST OPTIONS.
- Select the type of request you are would prefer: FAX or ONLINE.
Download Fax Request Form. Complete the form and Fax to
3) Instructions for day of the Positively Speaking Presentation
Day of Presentation
The speaker will arrive a few minutes before class begins.
Please inform the speaker on what you have covered regarding HIV/AIDS prior to their presentation. The students should have received instruction in HIV 101 (at a minimum) prior to a presentation by Positively Speaking.
REMEMBER, the speakers are there to put a face on HIV/AIDS to reduce stigma and discrimination to those that are infected or affected by the disease. They are not there to meet the comprehensive approach to HIV/AIDS prevention-education. They are a strategy used to supplement the effectiveness of the District-adopted curriculum.
Introduce the speaker(s) by FIRST NAME ONLY.
Inform students they will hear a speaker who will provide some information today regarding HIV/AIDS.
Note: The speaker will reveal their own status at a critical part of their presentation. If you know the status of the presenter, please do not share this with your students beforehand.
Speaker(s) will leave time for questions to provide the processing piece for the students.
Please fill out a Speaker Evaluation Form on each speaker you have presenting that day. Also, fill out the Work Verification Form. Return these forms to the speaker(s) at the end of the last presentation. (The speaker will FAX from the school site in the Main Office)
4) Instructions for after the Positively Speaking Presentation
After the Presentation
Positively Speaking presentations often evoke a wide range of emotions making it vitally important for your students to share their feelings.
Continue the processing with your students by engaging them in a discussion after the speakers leave. If possible, this should be done the same day.
Encourage students to write a personal letter to the speaker’s. Writing will allow your students the opportunity to reflect on what they have learned and measure the effectiveness of the prevention-education messages presented by the speakers during their stories. The speakers really enjoy getting the letters to recognize the impact they have with our students.
Letters can be sent by school mail to:
Health Education Programs, HIV/AIDS Prevention Unit
Attn: Nancy Ramos
If you have additional questions or concerns that you felt you could not write on the evaluation, please contact Nancy Ramos at