Background: School education has been described as a powerful preventive tool against HIV/AIDS. Policy makers have often recommended that schools can act as the center point for disseminating information and education on this killer disease.
Objectives: To assess the level of awareness, attitude and beliefs regarding HIV/AIDS among school children and to raise their awareness by imparting health education focusing on HIV/AIDS prevention.
Material and Methods: A cross sectional study was carried out covering all students studying in 9th and 11th standard of two purposively selected public schools of Meerut. Information was collected on a pre-tested and pre-designed questionnaire.
Results: All the students had heard about HIV/AIDS whereas only 100 students (31%) knew the difference between HIV/AIDS. Approximately one-third of the students had knowledge about all the high risk groups for the disease. Lower percentages (46%) of the students were aware of sexually transmitted infections whereas greater proportion (64%) of the subjects knew about ICTCs. More than half (56%) students believed that HIV infected people should be shown a friendly attitude. A smaller number (29%) of students said that HIV/AIDS education should be included in the school curriculum. Our educational intervention could raise awareness to 87.5% from the baseline.
Conclusion: The inclusion of HIV/AIDS education in the school curriculum is imperative to protect them and their counterparts from falling prey to this still-an –incurable killer disease.
HIV/AIDS, ICTCs, Education, Awareness
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