Assessment of HIV/AIDS Awareness Level of High School Students in Kolkata

Ramdas Chatterjee, Phalguni Gupta, Debkumar Chatterjee

Abstract


Youths are likely to engage in risky behavior without accurate knowledge about HIV/AIDS. Assessment of their knowledge regarding the disease helps in developing strategies to prevent it. Aim of this study was to evaluate knowledge level of high school students of Kolkata, India, their attitude towards the disease, and enhance their awareness. Effect of previous awareness programs on HIV/AIDS is not well understood.
In this cross-sectional study, students (N=2373) were from 38 randomly selected higher secondary schools. Based on answers to questions of a pre-designed, pre-tested, anonymous questionnaire, knowledge level of the students and their attitude towards HIV/AIDS were ascertained using SPSS version 17.0.
Approximately one-third (36.5%) of the students knew full form of HIV and AIDS. Many (67%) believed that AIDS can be prevented and 45.9% thought AIDS is curable. Very few (2.6%, 0.6%) identified three major modes of transmission of HIV/AIDS and its three different symptoms. Television was the main source of information about HIV/AIDS for the students.
Many students of Kolkata were still deficient in accurate knowledge on HIV/AIDS though they showed positive attitude towards the disease. Frequent awareness programs on HIV/AIDS are required to ensure that students attend at least one program during school curriculum.


Keywords


HIV/AIDS, School students, Knowledge, AIDS awareness, HIV awareness

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