An evaluation of a school-based AIDS/HIV education program for high school students

Carolyn Seymore Ashworth, Robert H. DuRant, Cheryl Newman, Greg Gaillard

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34 Scopus citations


The effect of a 1-hr school-based AIDS/HIV education program on the knowledge and attitudes of high school students was evaluated with a modified version of the Centers for Disease Control Health Risk Survey. One urban and one suburban school each were randomly assigned to an educational intervention (n = 535) or a control group (n = 659). All students received a posttest 2 weeks after the intervention. Knowledge was based on responses to 12 true-false questions (pretest α = .76, posttest α = 0.81). Principal components analysis was used to develop three attitude scales and risk-taking behavior was assessed by self-report. Data were analyzed with Kruskall-Wallis analysis of variance (ANOVA) and multivariate ANOVA. The groups did not differ in knowledge level at pretest. At posttest the education group had significantly (p ≤ 0.006) higher knowledge even after controlling for the effects of previous AIDS education (p ≤ 0.019), gender (p ≤ 0.007), and Hispanic ethnicity (p ≤ 0.048). After the education program, students were less worried about exposure to the AIDS virus, but were more worried (p ≤ 0.048) about AIDS acquisition during their adult life. Although single school-based AIDS/HIV education programs may increase knowledge, more extensive education may be needed to change the behavior and attitudes of older high school students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)582-588
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number7
StatePublished - Nov 1992


  • AIDS/HIV education School intervention Students' AIDS knowledge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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