Knowledge and attitudes of students towards HIV/AIDS in selected secondary schools in central Uganda
Katongole, John Mugabi
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The study aimed at identifying students’ knowledge and attitudes towards HIV/AIDS in selected secondary schools in central Uganda.The study was conductedinfourschoolsinwhich240studentsparticipated,senior two and senior three classes from each school.From eachclass60studentswere selected randomly. Data was collected using questionnaires and was analysed in Statistical Packages for Social Sciences (SPSS). The findings revealed that the secondary school students had more knowledge about HIV/AIDS prevention, cure,types and treatment.About two hundred fifteen students were aware of the ways in which HIV/AIDS is transmitted,one hundred sixty two students were aware of the HIV/AIDS treatment and that there was no cure and (53.4%) students knew that HIV types were not three.The findings also showed that lowest awareness level were in areas of;history,signs and symptoms of HIV/AIDS. A large number of secondary school students (39.6%) were uncertain of where HIV/AIDS first occurred in Uganda. Almost the same number of student (43.3%)was in decisive about the signs and symptoms of HIV/AIDS during the window period. The findings revealed both positive and negative attitudes of secondary school students towards HIV/AIDS.About two hundred students were willing to share their reading materials and join discussion groups with a HIV infected student, (65%) students were free with HIV infected teacher continuing to teach in secondary school. (49.6%)students would tell any one about the results of their HIV test results and few students (25%) were in decisive on whether to share or not to share their results of HIV test with any one and (68.3%) students disagreed with isolation of AIDS patients for the safety of others. The findings revealed that there was a weak, negative correlation between students’ knowledge and attitude towards HIV/AIDS, which was statistically significant (rs (240)= -0.148, p=0.002). It was recommended that; both the government and schools should increase funding of HIV/AIDS awareness programs concerning the prevention of HIV/AIDS to increase the students’ knowledge of prevention of HIV/AIDS.