The impact of a lecture on AIDS on knowledge, attitudes and beliefs of male school-age adolescents in the Asir Region of southwestern Saudi Arabia.

Abstract:

:The aim of this study was to assess the levels of knowledge, attitudes and beliefs and AIDS among secondary school students in the Asir Region of Southwestern Saudi Arabia, and to assess the impact of a one-session AIDS education lecture given in some schools in the region during World AIDS Day, December 1992. An Arabic version of a previously reported self-administered questionnaire including factual and attitudinal items about AIDS was constructed. The questionnaire was given to two randomly selected groups of students; an experimental group of 335 students who had been exposed to a one-session lecture program about AIDS, and a control group of 503 students not previously exposed to the lecture. The results showed marked variability in correct responses to various specific items within and between groups. However, overall, 65% of the experimental group and 63% of the control group gave correct responses (P=0.517). Both groups were particularly less aware that casual contact cannot spread AIDS. However, fear of getting AIDS was significantly less among the experimental than among the control group (47% versus 58%, P = 0.011). Student knowledge about AIDS is inadequate, and the impact of an isolated one-session AIDS education lecture is less than satisfactory. AIDS education through a comprehensive school health program is recommended. :A comparison of knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) failed to detect significant differences between Saudi Arabian male adolescents who were exposed to a school-based one-session AIDS education lecture and their counterparts who did not participate in the educational intervention. The 335 students in the intervention group, recruited from three secondary schools in the Asir Region, were surveyed approximately six months after attendance at a lecture on AIDS delivered by the school physician as part of the 1992 World AIDS Day. The 503 controls were recruited from three other secondary schools in the region that did not offer an educational presentation. The overall level of correct responses to 29 questions aimed at measuring knowledge about AIDS was 65.07% among cases and 63.31% among controls. Overall, students demonstrated good awareness of the sexual transmission of the AIDS virus and 92% in both groups indicated that AIDS could be avoided by adherence to Islamic rules; less widespread was awareness that casual contact is not a mode of transmission or knowledge that AIDS is incurable. Significantly fewer cases (47%) than controls (58%) expressed fear of becoming infected. Encouraging was the finding that 81% of cases and 82% of controls supported the inclusion of AIDS education in the school curriculum. The failure of the educational intervention to enhance students' knowledge about AIDS may reflect the insufficiency of a one-session lecture provided in isolation from a comprehensive AIDS curriculum.

journal_name

J Community Health

authors

Abolfotouh MA

doi

10.1007/BF02260410

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

1995-06-01 00:00:00

pages

271-81

issue

3

eissn

0094-5145

issn

1573-3610

journal_volume

20

pub_type

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