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Indian Journal of Community Medicine

An Awareness Study about AIDS and Safe Blood Among Higher Secondary Girl Students

Author(s): R. Singh, S.K. Garg, J.V. Singh, M. Bhatnagar, H. Chopra

Vol. 29, No. 3 (2004-07 - 2004-09)

Abstract

Objective: To study the level of awareness regarding AIDS and safe blood among higher secondary girl students of Meerut city.

Study design: Crosssectional.

Setting: Four randomly selected higher secondary schools in Meerut city (two each from English and Hindi medium).

Participants: Two hundred higher secondary girl students of Meerut city from Hindi medium and 200 students from English medium. Statistical analysis : ‘Z’ test.

Results: Overall awareness was 60.6% with mean score of 14.5 ± 2.5. Statistically significant difference in awareness was observed in Hindi and English medium schools.

Conclusions: Health education about AIDS and safe blood is the need of the hour for developing a healthy society. Key words : AIDS, Safe blood, girl students, awareness.

Introduction

Institution of family is under great threat of disintegration due to HIV/ AIDS. According to WHO, 250 million new cases of STD occur worldwide each year with a high rate in 16-19 yrs. age group. Young people are at risk of HIV/AIDS because they are in the transition phase of their life. Hence these young people have the right to understand the changes they are going through and to develop skills of forming healthy and responsible relationships. Many diseases can occur by transfusing unsafe blood, hence there is need for creating awareness about AIDS and safe blood transfusion among the vulnerable groups. The present study is an attempt to assess AIDS and safe blood awareness among higher secondary (H.S.) girls.

Material and Methods

The present study was carried out among randomly selected 400 H.S. girl students of Meerut city by multistage sampling method. Firstly 4 higher secondary schools, ‘two each from Hindi and English medium were randomly selected. Secondly 100 students from each selected school were randomly selected by stratifying into two groups, each consisting of 50 students from Science and Arts faculty, respectively.

Information was collected on a predesigned and pretested proforma by oral questionnaire method consisting of 24 knowledge based questions pertaining to AIDS and blood safety, without disclosing their identity and after taking verbal consent from school authority. The study was carried out during the month of July-Aug’ 2000. Knowledge based questions included general awareness about AIDS, causative agent and modes of transmission, management and preventive aspects of AIDS and awareness about blood safety and blood donation.

Results

None of the 400 students could secure full score of 24. Overall awareness was 60.6%. A statistically significant difference in awareness was observed between Hindi and English medium schools and between

Science and Arts group (p<0.001) (Table I)

Table I : Mean Scores Secured By Students

Category Total Scores Range Scores Secured
      Mean ± S.D
Hindi Science 24 5-19 14.4 ± 2.4
Hindi Arts 24 6-22 12.4 ± 3.3
English Science 24 10-21 16.5 ± 2.2
English Arts 24 9-21 14.9 ± 2.3
Total 24 5-22 14.5 2.55

Discussion

It was seen that all the four groups of girl students were lacking in awareness about various aspects of AIDS and safe blood. A KAP study on under graduate students of Delhi University1 and an awareness study about AIDS among degree college girls of Meerut2 showed similar lack in awareness. It is interesting to note that even an awareness study on AIDS on preclinical students of LLRM Medical College revealed popular misconceptions3. A Calcutta study found 13.4% awareness among H.S. students, which was significantly better in female students4. A KAP study in Jharkhand on voluntary blood donors, age range 18-25 years, found that almost all of them were aware of importance of blood donation. 48.8% knew the minimum interval between blood donations. The possibility of spread of AIDS through blood was known to 41.39%. But the awareness regarding spread of malaria was only 2.3% and that of filaria and syphilis was negligible. In the present study awareness about known modes of HIV/AIDS transmission was 78.3%, 62.8% knew about frequency of blood donation, and 41.3% were aware about other diseases transmitted by blood5.

Mass education about AIDS and safe blood is the need of the hour not only among H.S. girl students but also among other vulnerable sections of the society, because our larger aim is prevention of AIDS and safe blood awareness in the society as a whole so that each individual can enjoy life to the hilt without falling prey to these new age diseases. This will help us in our greater endeavour of nation building and maximum utilisation of our meagre resources.

References

  1. Benara S.K., Khelendra R.K., Chaudhry B.N., Ramaswamy J., Bhattacharaya J, Chawla J. et al. : AIDS - a survey of knowledge, attitudes & beliefs of undergraduate students of Delhi University - Indian J. Com. Medicine 1992; 17(4) : 155-159
  2. Garg S.K., Singh J.V., Bhatnagar M, Chopra H, Singh R.B. - Awareness about AIDS among degree college girls. The Medicine and Surgery - 1994; 34 : 9-10
  3. Mathur A., Chopra H., Singh J.V., Bhatnagar M., Singh R.B., Garg S.K., - An awareness study about AIDS amongst preclinical students of LLRM Medical College, Meerut. Indian J. Com. Health - 1994; 8 (4) : 7-9
  4. Ram R., Roy M., Chatterjee, Dhar G., Dan A., Naskar N - A study on awareness of AIDS among school children & teachers of H.S. Schools in Calcutta, W.B. Abstract No. IAPSM 27th Ann. Conf. 10-12th Feb. 2000.
  5. Rao, K.K., Babu G.K.- Knowledge, attitude and practices among voluntary blood donors - A profile. Abstract No. 45, Ind. Pub. Health Congress, 14-16th April 2001.

Deptt. of Community Medicine, LLRM Medical College,
Meerut - 250 004 (U.P.)

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