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Revista Cubana de Salud Pública

versión impresa ISSN 0864-3466versión On-line ISSN 1561-3127


GONZALEZ VALCARCEL, Bertha; NUNEZ ARAGON, Elsa; COUTUREJUZON GONZALEZ, Lourdes  y  AMABLE AMBROS, Zoraida. Knowledge and attitudes about HIV/AIDS in high school education adolescent students. Rev Cubana Salud Pública [online]. 2008, vol.34, n.2. ISSN 0864-3466.

Introduction Human immunodeficiency virus infection causes significant mortality and morbidity in young people who acquire it mainly through sex intercourse. Adolescence is a decisive stage in the development of safe sexual behaviours. Objective To identify pieces of knowledge and behaviours about HIV in high school students. Methods A cross-sectional descriptive research study was conducted in 2005 on a sample of 15-19 years-old young people who studied in pre-university centers and polytechnic institutes located in the City of Havana and Holguin provinces. To this end, a semi-structured questionnaire was administered to these students by trained health personnel. Results Over 70 % of students succeeded in identifying ten out of 14 ways of HIV/AIDS transmission and four out of the seven suggested ways to reduce the risk of acquiring the virus. The most frequent sources of information and influence were family, friends and school (69.4 % and more). Of the total number of students, 54.6 % did not use any condom in their first sexual intercourse whereas roughly 50 % admitted that they used it occasionally with both fixed and occasional partners. Also, 34.5 % of students had kept their regular partners during the last year and 23.9 % had had two or three partners; only had a very small number had four or more partners. It called the attention that some young people stated that they had had 20 partners and others were incapable of mentioning an exact figure. It was considered that 2.7 % had high risk of acquiring AIDS. Conclusions There was disagreement between the adequate knowledge found and the stated sexual behaviour, which seems to be indicative of an important line of educational work that must be continued

Palabras clave : Adolescents; students; HIV/AIDS; high education; Cuba.

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