A survey was performed among secondary school students in Cebu City ages 12-24 years old for the school year 1996-1997. The survey sought to assess the students knowledge on AIDS, perceived risks, beliefs and attitude. A pre-tested structured questionnaire was used in the survey.
The result of the study showed that secondary school students had a fairly proficient level of knowledge on AIDS in the areas of etiology, epidemiology, manifestation and trasmission but was deficient in the areas of prognosis, treatment and prevention. The study population showed high perceived risk score (74.2%) of acquiring AIDS, and a high seriousness score (95.0%) on AIDS epidemic. Additionally, the students attitude showed less tolerance to AIDS patients, more concerned regarding AIDS transmission and interested in AIDS education.
The prevalence of misconceptions suggest the need to emphasize AIDS-school based educational program with emphasis on their areas of deficiencies. AIDS-related information should then be incorporated in the curriculum of our educational program. Until an effective treatment is available, AIDS education will still be the most important avenue for curtailing the spread of AIDS. (Author)