Author(s): Oljira L, Berhane Y, Worku A
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Abstract INTRODUCTION: In Ethiopia, more adolescents are in school today than ever before; however, there are no studies that have assessed their comprehensive knowledge of HIV/AIDS. Thus, this study tried to assess the level of this knowledge and the factors associated with it among in-school adolescents in eastern Ethiopia. METHODS: A cross-sectional school-based study was conducted using a facilitator-guided self-administered questionnaire. The respondents were students attending regular school in 14 high schools located in 14 different districts in eastern Ethiopia. The proportion of in-school adolescents with comprehensive HIV/AIDS knowledge was computed and compared by sex. The factors that were associated with the comprehensive HIV/AIDS knowledge were assessed using bivariate and multivariable logistic regression. RESULTS: Only about one in four, 677 (24.5\%), in-school adolescents have comprehensive HIV/AIDS knowledge. The knowledge was better among in-school adolescents from families with a relatively middle or high wealth index (adjusted OR [95\% CI]=1.39 [1.03-1.87] and 1.75 [1.24-2.48], respectively), who got HIV/AIDS information mainly from friends or mass media (adjusted OR [95\% CI]=1.63 [1.17-2.27] and 1.55 [1.14-2.11], respectively) and who received education on HIV/AIDS and sexual matters at school (adjusted OR [95\% CI]=1.59 [1.22-2.08]). The females were less likely to have comprehensive HIV/AIDS knowledge compared to males (adjusted OR and [95\% CI]=0.60 [0.49-0.75]). CONCLUSIONS: In general, only about a quarter of in-school adolescents had comprehensive HIV/AIDS knowledge. Although the female adolescents are highly vulnerable to HIV infection and its effects, they were by far less likely to have comprehensive HIV/AIDS knowledge. HIV/AIDS information, education and communication activities need to be intensified in high schools.
This article was published in J Int AIDS Soc
and referenced in Journal of AIDS & Clinical Research