Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala, the most literate state in India, has landed into controversy by spreading misinformation about Human Immunodeficiency Viruses (HIV). Class 10 biology textbook of the state syllabus in Kerala schools says that HIV spreads through pre-marital or extra-marital sex.

The incident came to light after a citizen pointed out the error of the chapter by posting pictures of the lesson on social media.

Chapter four titled 'Keeping Diseases Away' on page 60 of the school textbook says that HIV may spread through sexual contact before marriage or even outside of marriage.

The lesson also states that the virus can also spread by sharing the syringe and needle used by AIDS patients or through body fluids.  It can even spread from HIV-infected mother to foetus.

"HIV virus attacks the immune cells. And it is a lifelong infection, which spreads through blood and body fluids. AIDS can also spread through unprotected sexual contact with an HIV infected person," it states.

This book, prepared by the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT), is being used in state schools since 2016. But, no teacher, school authorities or parents have pointed out the mistake. 

As soon as the post went viral, SCERT director J Prasad said the academic year 2019-20  text books wouldn't include these mistakes.

Prasad said to media that the chapter was taught since 2016 and no one has pointed out the mistake so far. As the issue came to his notice now, he said that he has excluded the portion in the new textbooks.