To assess the knowledge regarding HIV/AIDS among secondary school and junior college students in khammam town of Andhra Pradesh
Introduction: Adolescents and youth need information in order to make such responsible choices in terms of sexual behaviour/relationship. They also need to integrate and personalize this information or knowledge so that they can make healthy choices. Young people learn a great deal from each other and by sharing ideas and experiences amongst themselves. Peer influence is a great motivating factor in the adoption of specific behaviour patterns. Therefore, correct information and values imparted to one group of young people will be passed on to the other young people. Young people who have developed greater self-esteem and mutually supportive relationships are less vulnerable to peer and other pressures. Materials and Methods: Study Design: Cross sectional study, Study period: The study was carried out from June 2011 to December 2011. Results: Among the participants 92.60 % of secondary school students had heard of HIV/AIDS, had written correct abbreviation of HIV and AIDS, whereas 77.83% of junior college students had heard of HIV/AIDS. Among them 74.06% correct had written abbreviation of HIV and 75.26% had written correct abbreviation of AIDS. Around 78.90% of secondary school students and 83.56% of junior college students knew that causative agent of HIV/AIDS as virus, 76.85% of secondary school students and 77.07% of junior college students gave correct response regarding HIV/AIDS awareness symbol as red ribbon. 42.83% of secondary school and 39.37% junior college students knew how to prevent HIV/AIDS. Nearly 31.34% of secondary school students and 44.95% of junior college students knew that mosquito bite from HIV/AIDS infected person will not transmit HIV virus. Among the secondary school students 33.39% and 57.62% of junior college students knew that IV drug abuse will spread HIV virus. 75.43% of secondary school students and 87.63% of junior college students knew that HIV/AIDS status can be confirmed by blood test. 46.14% of secondary school students and 56.56% of junior college students responded correctly stating that sharing a meal with HIV/AIDS infected person will not transmit HIV virus. Among secondary school students nearly 53.70% and 57.47% of junior college students responded that using public toilets will not spread HIV virus. Conclusion: Education is currently the only means of preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS. The education which is needed to protect adolescents from the virus and subsequent disease involves changes at many levels. Individuals and systems have to make changes in their thinking, behaviour, attitudes, beliefs and policies.
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