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Paper Information

Journal:   PAYESH   APRIL 2008 , Volume 7 , Number 2; Page(s) 173 To 180.
 
Paper: 

AIDS LITERACY AMONG FEMALE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS: A CROSS-SECTIONAL STUDY FROM IRAN

 
 
Author(s):  MOZAFAR ZADEH SH., VAHDANINIA M.
 
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Abstract: 

Objective(s): Female high school students are among most vulnerable population groups with regard to AIDS because of their age and their high-risk behaviors. This study aimed to assess AIDS literacy among female high school students from two different socio-economic backgrounds in Tehran, Iran.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted to investigate about AIDS knowledge and attitudes among female students in Tehran, Iran. Two available high schools were identified and after obtaining consent from authorities, a brief questionnaire was administered to all students.

Results: In all, 581 students participated in the study. The mean age of the respondents was 15.3 (SD=0.94) years (ranging from 14 to 17y). Data analysis showed that the subjects had a fairly good knowledge of AIDS. The percentage of correct answers ranged from 33.4% to 96.4%. Also, the majority of the respondents strongly agreed or agreed with statements that “AIDS is a public health problem and people should be informed about the disease” (95.9%) or “people with AIDS should receive support from family, community and the government” (89.0%). Most students indicated that the mass media (including television and newspapers) were their main sources of information on HIV and AIDS (52.2%). Thirty-seven percent said that they need more information on AIDS prevention followed by need for more general information about AIDS (22%) and information about AIDS transmission modes (17.0%). Overall, those from affluent backgrounds showed a better understanding of the topic and there were significant differences in knowledge levels between the two high schools.

Conclusion: The findings indicate that in general female students have a fairly good knowledge about AIDS and have positive attitudes towards people with AIDS. However, since female high school students are at greater risk, in order to enhance AIDS literacy among this population, implementation of further health education programs is recommended.

 
Keyword(s): AIDS, STUDENTS, FEMALE, HEALTH LITERACY
 
References: 
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