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LETTER TO EDITOR Table of Contents   
Year : 2007  |  Volume : 32  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 228-229
 

A study of awareness on HIV/AIDS among higher secondary school students in Central Kolkata


1 Department of Community Medicine, R.G. Kar Medical College, Kolkatta, India
2 Department of MCH, AIIH and PH, Kolkatta, India
3 Department of Paediatrics, Medical College, Kolkatta, India

Date of Submission23-May-2006
Date of Acceptance10-Aug-2007

Correspondence Address:
Arindam Chakrovarty
Department of Community Medicine, R.G. Kar Medical College, Kolkatta
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0970-0218.36841

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How to cite this article:
Chakrovarty A, Nandy S, Roy R, Sengupta B, Chatterjee S, Chaudhuri RN. A study of awareness on HIV/AIDS among higher secondary school students in Central Kolkata. Indian J Community Med 2007;32:228-9

How to cite this URL:
Chakrovarty A, Nandy S, Roy R, Sengupta B, Chatterjee S, Chaudhuri RN. A study of awareness on HIV/AIDS among higher secondary school students in Central Kolkata. Indian J Community Med [serial online] 2007 [cited 2019 Oct 20];32:228-9. Available from: http://www.ijcm.org.in/text.asp?2007/32/3/228/36841


Sir,

Adolescents comprise about 22% of the population of India. [1] This large group of population contains high potentiality for social and economic development of the country in future. It is alarming that in India rates for new human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections every year among young males and females are 0.46% and 0.96% respectively (UNICEF, UNAIDS and WHO, 2002). [1] There is paucity of data in Kolkatta regarding awareness on HIV/ AIDS among adolescents, which are required to plan an Information, Education and Communication (IEC) program for them. The study was undertaken among school students (classes XI and XII) to assess the level of knowledge on the existence, mode of transmission and prevention of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and also to elicit the history of sexual exposure.

The study was undertaken in ward no. 40 of Kolkatta Municipal Corporation in January 2004. There were altogether four government-run or government-aided higher secondary schools in that area. Our study was conducted in all the four schools of that ward. Prior permission was obtained from the school authorities and parents for conducting this study. All the students (258 in numbers) who were present on the days of data collection were included in the study. A pre-designed, pre-tested anonymous questionnaire was used for data collection. The questions were explained to them, and they were asked to write answers of the questions on their own. The responses were then analyzed using appropriate statistical methods.

Awareness among boys was found to be significantly more than that among girls regarding communicability, modes of transmission and prevention of HIV/ AIDS [Table - 1]. These findings were similar as observed by other researchers in different studies. [2],[3],[4]

Regarding history of sexual exposure, it was observed that 11.54% of boys and 1.56% of girls had premarital penetrative sexual exposure without using condoms, the difference being statistically significant. Awareness regarding vertical mode of transmission and necessity of sterilization of needle and screening of antenatal mothers for prevention of HIV/ AIDS was poor among both males and females. This was in conformity with a study by Abraham et al. [1] and by Kaur et al. [1]

It was observed in the present study that adolescents, especially girls, lacked awareness about HIV/ AIDS. A section of adolescents, though very small in number, also indulged in high-risk sexual behavior. IEC programs should be undertaken with regard to HIV/ AIDS, safe sex and avoidance of high-risk sexual behavior in schools to increase the awareness of adolescents. Scientific information regarding reproductive and sexual health should be included in the school curriculum to build up responsible sexual behavior among the students during adolescence as well as adulthood.

 
   References Top

1.UNESCO. Case studies. STDs/HIV/AIDS (India), 2003. Available from: http://www.unescobkk.org/ ips/arh-web/demographics/india2.cfm.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Agarwal AK, Kumar R. Awareness of AIDS among school children in Haryana. Indian J Public Health 1996;40:38-45.  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.Gaash B, Ahmad M, Kasur R, Basir S. Knowledge, Attitude and belief on HIV/AIDS among the female senior secondary students in Srinagar district of Kashmir; Journal of National Institute of Health and Family Welfare, 2003. Available from: http://www.nihfw.org/html/CurrentArticle.asp.  Back to cited text no. 3    
4.Singh R, Garg SK, Singh JV, Bhatnagar M, Chopra H. An awareness study about AIDS and safe blood among higher secondary girl students; Indian J Commun Med 2004;29:114.  Back to cited text no. 4    



 
 
    Tables

  [Table - 1]


This article has been cited by
1 HIV/AIDS and Indian youth - a review of the literature (1980 2008)
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SAHARA-J Journal of Social Aspects of HIV/AIDS. 2009; 6(1): 2
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  2007 - Indian Journal of Community Medicine | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
  Online since 15th September, 2007