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In this article, I give an account of my ‘Checkmating HIV&AIDS’ action research project, which was an attempt to break the ‘culture of silence’ concerning HIV&AIDS and sex and sexuality in my classroom. In this project, I focused specifically on one code of sport, namely chess, and I point out and discuss the potential of using chess as an educational tool in addressing HIV&AIDS. It was found that learners enjoy playing chess and that it can be used in the Life Orientation classroom to promote HIV&AIDS awareness. This type of alternative awareness is relevant as learners in most schools were becoming fatigued by HIV&AIDS information overload. The project portrays the role of the teacher as a researcher and critical change agent in an HIV&AIDS-challenged society.
Keywords: HIV&AIDS, action research, chess, checkmating, culture of silence, prevention, awareness