Gandhi Bhaskar Pathrudu1, Kiran kumar Patnaik2, M. P. Geethanjali3
Teenagers form a significant portion of those infected with HIV and the number of young women getting infected with HIV/AIDS is growing rapidly. OBJECTIVES: This study was done to estimate the knowledge attitudes and risk perceptions about HIV/AIDS, in teenage high school students of Guntur. METHODS: A cross sectional study was carried out. For data analysis, simple percentage was applied. For finding gender differences, “Chi square test for independence” was used. RESULTS: More than half (61.1%) were unaware that treatment is available for HIV. More than one third (41.6%), of students preferred to discontinue friendship if their friend contracts HIV. Two thirds, (66.66%) of the students were unaware that HIV can be transmitted by tattooing /skin piercing. About one third (31%) were unaware that using disposable syringes can help prevent HIV transmission. Girls (77.5%) were less aware that HIV can be transmitted through sexual intercourse than boys (93.2%), (p value =0.019). More girls (28.5%) were lacking in the awareness that condoms can help in prevention of HIV transmission than boys (5.1%) (p value =0.0008).More girls (24.5%) were unaware that safe blood transfusion practices can help in prevention of HIV than boys (5.1%), (p value =0.0114). Also more girls (42.8%) were unaware that using disposable syringes can help in prevention of HIV transmission than boys (20.3%), (p value =0.0037). CONCLUSION: There were significant gaps in knowledge about HIV among teenage high school students and comparatively girls were less aware than boys. HIV/AIDS knowledge should be improved by school education programmes.