PCP HIV AIDS Toolkit/AIDS Handshake Game
HIV/AIDS Handshake Activity
Directions: Have all the participants sit in a large circle. Tell them that their circle represents their island, or their community. You can make it a more elaborate story - be creative. Tell them that shaking hands with another person represents having sex. Be sure to emphasize that AIDS is NOT transmitted through handshaking. Proceed with round 1.
Round 1: Tell them to get up and "have sex"/shake hands with 3 different people. Then sit down. Ask them how it was: was it good, was it nice to have sex with whoever you wanted, etc.
Round 2: While sitting in the circle have everyone close their eyes and you go around the circle and tap three people on the shoulder (the number depends on how many participants you have). Then have them open their eyes and inform them that the three people you tapped are now HIV positive members of their community. But they have no way of telling who those people are. The three people that were tapped can’t tell and they look healthy, so there is no way of knowing. Then have everyone get up and shake hands three more times. But this time the three people with HIV will subtly scratch the hands of the people they shake hands with. The scratching of the hand will symbolize transmission of HIV. After everyone has had “sex” call them back to the circle. Bring the three people you tapped to the middle of the circle and then ask who shook hands directly with those 3 to come to the middle of circle. They all have HIV. Discuss this: how do you feel, are you mad at the person, ect.
Round 3: Have everyone close their eyes again and this time you tap 3 different people. The instructions are the same. They will shake 3 hands. The people who were tapped will scratch the hands of their people. BUT this time, the people whose hands are scratched will pass it on and scratch the hands of their next people too. Bring the 3 people in the very center of the circle, then have the people they scratched make a small circle around the original 3, then have the people those people scratched make a larger circle around them. It will end up being A LOT of infected people in the community. Talk about feelings, transmission, etc.
Round 4: Repeat the same as Round 3 with different people being tapped to set it off. In the discussion after round 4 - talk again about transmission, how easily it can spread if couples don't communicate honestly, without even realizing it most of their community could become infected, etc. Then, ask if anyone chose not to have sex, not to shake hands. Talk about that - the option of abstinence. Then ask if anyone used a condom or protection. (Ex: covering their hand up with their shirt or hat or something while shaking) If anyone did think of that on their own give them some applause! Talk about how out of so many people how few chose to be safe, etc.
Round 5: Repeat. The idea this last time is that everyone will abstain or use protection & you can talk about how HIV/AIDS is preventable through education, communication and protection. Hopefully this will lead to a good discussion, with only the original 3 people in the center and everyone else still safe. Emphasize that AIDS is preventable through education and taking safety precautions. AND of course remind them again that HIV is NOT spread through shaking hands.