HIV/AIDS EDUCATION IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS
A study of government bilingual high schools in Yaoundé,
A Pro Gradu Thesis in Education
Faculty of Education and Master’s
Programme in Development and
Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy
University of Jyvaskyla
Spring Term 2009
The purpose of this study was to describe secondary school students’ knowledge, attitudes and behaviour in relation to HIV/AIDS and compare these aspects in two Government Bilingual High Schools in Yaoundé-Cameroon. One school runs a formal HIV/AIDS education programme and the other does not.
Factors influencing students’ attitudes towards people living with HIV/AIDS
(PLHIV) and their trusted sources of HIV/AIDS knowledge were examined.
Altogether 618 students participated in the survey. Their ages ranged from 10 to
25 with the mean age of 15. The data was collected in November 2008.
The findings indicated that students in two schools were quite knowledgeable about modes of HIV prevention and transmission, while more students in the intervention school were conversant with facts. No differences in attitudes towards PLHIV were observed in two schools. Students of the intervention school reported positive attitudes towards condoms than the no-intervention school. Girls showed more discrimination towards PLHIV than boys and religion had an impact on attitudes toward PLHIV. Students mostly trusted doctors/nurses, parents and teachers as important sources of HIV/AIDS knowledge. The research showed that HIV/AIDS interventions actually impact moderate behaviour changes, but there was weak correlation between HIV/AIDS education and attitudes towards PLHIV. Thus there is need for vigorous input into the formal HIV/AIDS intervention, targeting specific behavioural aspects and perhaps qualitative approaches to understanding the drivers of students’ attitudes. Parents should be involved in the
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