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AIDS knowledge and attitudes of pupils attending urban high schools in Israel

AIDS knowledge and attitudes of pupils attending urban high schools in Israel

Patient Education and Counseling 36(3): 271-278

The present study compared AIDS knowledge, attitude and sources of information of 1724 students in three different high schools (academic, vocational and religious) in Holon. Forty-two percent of the students are anxious concerning the possibility of AIDS contamination; they expressed a willingness to be tested for HIV and AIDS. Pupils attending the academic school proved to have the highest knowledge concerning AIDS topics; those in the vocational school placed second; and those in the religious school came last. The knowledge increased with age (p < 0.001). Results indicated that misconceptions were still found in a second decade of that epidemic concerning the following areas: etiology, ways of exposure; symptomatology; and prognosis. Their intolerant attitudes reflect social anxiety and vulnerability to AIDS. The most liberal and comprehensive attitudes toward AIDS patients were presented by pupils attending the academic school and after that came pupils from the vocational school, while pupils in the religious school presented the most conservative and intolerant attitudes. The sources of pupils' information primarily included: the media--TV (92.3%): newspapers (87.6%); and school (66.1%) occupied the third place. It is remarkable that physicians and nurses at school and outside clinics were placed in the seventh (and last) place, as only 25.3% mentioned them at all. Only one third of the pupils agreed to participate as volunteers in medical and rehabilitation centers which help AIDS patients.

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Accession: 048137830

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PMID: 14528562

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