Assessment of knowledge among adolescents regarding HIV/AIDS in Chennai, Southern India

Maheshkumar Muthuraja, Vindhya Dhanes


Background: The aim of this paper is to assess the knowledge regarding HIV and AIDS among the adolescent students in Chennai, India.

Methods: A cross-sectional design was used in this study. A self-administered questionnaire with 28 items was distributed among 1440 adolescents (720 boys; 720 girls) studying in schools and colleges in Chennai. Data obtained was coded and analyzed by descriptive and analytic statistics and confidence coefficient 95% by SPSS-16. P <0.05 was considered significant.

Results: Results showed that a majority of the adolescents (83%) knew that AIDS was a deadly disease and awareness regarding general aspects of AIDS was 64%. Compared to boys, girls exhibited a better knowledge on 22 out of 28 items (P <0.01 for all). Compared to early adolescents, late adolescents did better on 20 out of 28 item (P <0.01 for all). However, the proportion of correct responses did not exceed 65% for any item in any of these groups.

Conclusions: Our study indicates the presence of substantial lacunae in knowledge regarding AIDS in the population studied. It is therefore suggested  that education regarding AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases not only be incorporated in school and college curricula but should also be taught in detail.


Adolescent, HIV/AIDS, Knowledge, School and college students

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