Hmm, I'm imagining my dd at five having lessons about any aspects of diseases like AIDS. I know she's hyper-sensitive, but that sort of discussion woudl throw her over the edge. Not something that I feel is either necessary or useful to a five year old. Unless my child fears getting aids from a shared toothbrush, I'd rather the subject wasnt even approached with her. And I don't see much reason why at five that concept would have entered her head.
I feel that if children are actually misinformed or have a real need to know, then it needs to be dealt with and they need educating, but for the majority of five year olds, issues like these do not need to be broached at all. I say this havng worked with children who have lost parents to aids, and we certainly didnt go into details with the rest of the class. We focused on support for the family and the other children regarding the loss, not the disease itself. Even amongst these classes, at the age of five, the children really did not have the concept of these diseases. That came much later, towards the top of the primary years, not to five year olds.
I also think that some of the emphasis is OTT here on drugs etc. My friend's kids at the age of five and six were freaking at their parents over a glass of wine and even over a cup of coffee and the harm they were doing to themselves. I personally remember being terrified by a lesson on tabacco as a kid when we were shown a chart giving the odds of dying from lung cancer from smoking, even after giving up. I worked out that my dad only had a 50-50 chance of seeing me grow up, and had nightmares over it for months.
Now, of course, I want my kids to understand facts and dangers, but there is a balance to be kept between educating with facts, and frightening children with information that they do not have the intellectual or emotional capacity to cope with.