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Change in junior high school students' AIDS-related knowledge, misconceptions, attitudes, and HIV-preventive behaviors: effects of a school-based intervention



Change in junior high school students' AIDS-related knowledge, misconceptions, attitudes, and HIV-preventive behaviors: effects of a school-based intervention



Aids Education and Prevention 7(6): 534-543



A school-based AIDS-prevention program for junior high school students was developed and implemented in an inner-city area in northern California that serves predominantly African-American and Asian students. The curriculum, taught by science teachers, consisted of twelve classroom sessions using both didactic and interactive exercises covering sex education, HIV biology, drug use, decision-making and refusal skills, and public response to AIDS and community resources. Changes from baseline of self-reported responses to questions on pre- and posttests concerning AIDS knowledge and misconceptions, tolerance toward persons with AIDS, and high-risk behaviors were compared between intervention and control schools. Students in the intervention schools had a significant increase in AIDS knowledge (p < .0001) and became more tolerant of people with AIDS (p < .001) compared with students in the control school. Changes in high risk behavior could not be detected, perhaps due to the small number of sexually active students (24% of the sample). Students who increased their AIDS knowledge (p < .0001) as a result of the intervention became more tolerant of people with AIDS. A school-based HIV-prevention curriculum, taught by trained classroom teachers, can modify middle adolescents' HIV-related knowledge about the casual transmission of HIV, and their attitudes toward persons with AIDS.

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Accession: 045474062

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PMID: 8924350


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