Introduction to STIs and BBVs

Year level: 7


Students develop an understanding of the contraction of infections through a role play simulation. This understanding is extended through researching reliable and trustworthy websites for suitable prevention strategies specifically relating to sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and Blood-borne viruses (BBVs).

Learning Focus

Develop an understanding of what an infection is in relation to sexual health and Blood-borne virsuses and an introduction to what an 'STI' and 'BBV' is.

Key Understandings

  • People can use strategies to make healthy, responsible choices.

  • Making informed choices can make us safer (i.e. preventing infections).

  • Prevention strategies can reduce the transmission of STIs and BBVs.

  • Reliable and trustworthy health information sources (such as websites and brochures) are available to provide help and information about preventing infection.


  • Internet access
  • WA Department of Health brochures on STIs/BBVs
  • Teaching Resource: Role play character outlines
  • Student Activity Sheet: Fishbone graphic organiser [one per group]

General Capabilities

No General Capabilities values have been selected.

Health and physical education

Personal, social and community health

This strand will develop students' knowledge, understanding and skills to support a positive sense of self, to effectively respond to life events and transitions and to engage in their learning. Effective communication, decision-making and goal-setting skills are integral to this strand as they help to establish and maintain relationships in family, school, peer group and community settings, support healthy and safer behaviours, and enable advocacy. Students will source and examine a range of health information, products, services and policies, and evaluate their impact on individual and community health and safety.


Blooms Revised Taxonomy

No Blooms values have been selected.

Inquiry Learning Phase

No Inquiry Learning phase values have been selected.

Related Items

Teaching Resource (download) Guides FAQs

Teaching and Learning Activities

Before you get started

  • Ensure the focus of these activities remains on the concept of infections as this forms the foundation knowledge of STI/BBV contraction and infection.

  • Self-esteem and confidence of some students might be an issue during this activity. Be reassuring and supportive.

  • It is possible that a student has been involved in a traumatic experience relating to contracting a viral or bacterial infection. Teachers should know and understand the protective interrupting technique and what, why, when and how it is needed and used before facilitating this activity. It is important that teachers are familiar with the Dealing with disclosures Guide and have a risk management strategy in place.

  • There are Guides available on STIs/BBVs, HIV and AIDS and Healthy relationships: Gender, power and consent for further content information related to this activity.

Whole Class

The focus of this activity is the concept of infections as this forms the foundation knowledge of STI/BBV contraction and infection in subsequent activities. Students of this age group enjoy this activity as it is practical and engaging.

  1. Ask:

    • What is an infection?

    • What are some examples? List them on the board.

      • Make sure HIV, hepatitis and chlamydia are on the list but also include some non-STIs such as influenza. Identify that some infections are bacterial (e.g. chlamydia) which can be treated by antibiotics, and others are viral (e.g. HIV) which can't be treated by antibiotics.

      • Circle bacterial and viral infections in a different colour.

  1. Students participate in a simulation to demonstrate the role of the immune system and how infections including HIV can affect it.

    • Using props and the character outlines (Teaching Resource: Role play character outlines), ask students to volunteer for the following roles:

      • Germ – a sneaky character who can make people sick

      • Fighter cells – patrolling germ-killing police (white blood cells)

      • Helper T-cells – the judge that identifies germs and orders their destruction

      • Killer T-cells – kills germs

    • Have the remainder of the class form a circle around the four characters to represent the body.

    • Begin the role-play:

      1. The germ enters the body (through the circle of students)

      2. The fighter cells catch the germ and take it to the helper T-cells.

      3. The helper T-cells identify it as a ‘bad germ' and then inform the killer T-cells.

      4. The killer T-cells then kill the germ.

  1. Provide students with background information on what STIs and BBVs are. Highlight the use of trustworthy and reliable sources (i.e. government website vs peer-reviewed website like Wikipedia).

Independent or Small Group

This Jigsaw activity provides students with the understanding that reliable and trustworthy health information sources (such as websites and brochures) are available to provide help and information about sex and that making informed choices can make us safer (i.e. preventing infections).

  1. Allocate one BBV or STI to each small group.

  2. Provide each group with the Student Activity Sheet: Fishbone graphic organiser and model its use. Explain that being able to access, understand and appraise health related information such as reliable internet sites, helps young people make healthier decisions. This is called health literacy.

    • Allocate approximately 30 minutes for each group to provide a brief description of their allocated STI/BBV.

    • They are to complete one section on their fishbone; investigating the risks, symptoms, methods of transmission and protection strategies using trustworthy and reliable internet sources (e.g. Get the FactsChlamydia - Could I have it?, Healthy WA) and/or brochures. 

  1. Using the Jigsaw technique, break each group into two, half of the group remain where they are, the remaining team members move to the group next to them.

    Each group shares the information they have on their respective STI/BBV.

    • Repeat the process until all students have all available information on the selected STIs and BBVs and completed their organiser.

    • Ensure the same students move on together each transition because they are the 'experts' of their information and research.


  1. Address any general questions or concerns students have regarding the research process or information about STIs and BBVs. Stress that being well informed about STIs and BBVs will increase the chance of them making healthy, responsible choices in the future. 

  2. Choose some of the following questions to discuss and/or write responses to.

    • What actions can you take to reduce your risk of contracting some infections? (wash hands properly, eat healthy foods, get enough sleep, don't exchange bodily fluids such as semen or blood, don't share needles, use condoms)

    • Why do some people not take these actions to keep their immune system healthier? (they don't think it will happen to them, risk is fun, peer pressure, they may not be well informed)

    • How can condoms prevent the spread of infections? (when used properly, condoms provide a barrier to keep body fluids passing from one person to another during intercourse)

    • How can having health literacy skills (being able to understand reliable health information and applying it to your own life) help protect you against STIs or BBVs in the future?

    • What can people who provide health care and health information about STIs and BBVs do to make it easier for young people to access and understand their information?

  1. To summarise what the students have learnt about preventing the spread of infections, have them complete the following sentence "As a result of today's lesson, I will [insert action] to reduce my risk of catching an STI or BBV".

    • Share responses with the class.