Infection with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) results in destruction of the body’s host defenses and immune system leading to the condition called Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). HIV-AIDS is one of the world’s greatest public health crises. For many years, because of lack of understanding and effective treatment, it is now considered a rapidly progressing fatal disease. HIV infection in humans is considered pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2003) reported that there are more than 20 million died from HIV-AIDS globally. The DOH National Epidemiology Center (2011) reported that from 1984 to 2011, there were 860 AIDS cases reported, 71% (613) were males. Of the reported AIDS cases, 323 (38%) had already died at the time of case reporting. Sexual contact was the most common mode of HIV transmission, accounting for 93% (799) of all reported AIDS cases. The number of HIV cases continues its upward trend, with the latest figure in January 2011, there were 152 new HIV Ab sero-positive individuals confirmed by the STD/AIDS Cooperative Central Laboratory (SACCL) and reported to the HIV and AIDS Registry. This was a 6% increase compared to the same period last year. Most of the cases (93%) were males. In the Philippines, HIV is recently considered to be epidemic. This means that Filipinos should not remain passive, instead, be aware of the nature of transmission of this fast spreading deadly disease. In this study, the researchers are focusing on the level of awareness in one of the high-risk groups – the out-of-school youth. According to Dr. Jerie P. Calingasan, Cagayan de Oro City Health Officer, there are 31 reported cases of HIV-AIDS throughout the city, as of December, 2011. He exclaimed that there is really a need for the promotion of HIV-AIDS awareness not only to specific groups but to everyone. According to the Department of Education, Camaman-an National High School ranked 15th among all the 35 public secondary schools in Cagayan de Oro City in terms of highest drop rate which is 5.53% in the school year 2009-2010. In 2011, the drop rate increased to 7.77% which shove them to the 9th rank. Aside from being a part of Xavier University community, Barangay Camaman-an is chosen in terms of its total population, which has a larger number compared to the others which ranked higher than Camaman-an. It is through these reasons that the researchers desire to know the level of awareness of this vulnerable group of our society – the out-of-school youth – about HIV-AIDS. The fact that they are not in school; they might be deprived of knowledge about sexual and reproductive health, unless they are informed by their parents, friends or media.
This study is based on the following concepts:
As defined in Webster’s Comprehensive Dictionary, Level of awareness is the degree of knowledge or consciousness. In this study, it refers to the extent of the awareness of the out of school youth regarding HIV-AIDS. It is categorized as highly, moderately, fairly aware or unaware. In the study of Laguna (2004) on “Knowledge of HIV/AIDS and Unsafe Sex Practices among Filipino Youth”, it is believed that increasing the awareness on the realities of HIV/AIDS, can modify behaviors, specifically, risky sexual practices. There is an almost universal awareness of AIDS among young people ages 15-24. Ninety five percent said they have heard of AIDS. Two-thirds knew of sexually transmitted diseases and more than half (57 per cent) of which mentioned AIDS as a sexually transmitted disease. A closer look at their knowledge of HIV/AIDS, however, shows that misconceptions about the disease exist for a sizeable proportion of the youth population. While majority knew that AIDS can be contracted from a healthy-looking person and even from one single sexual contact, 35...