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Indian Journal of Communicable Diseases

Volume  2, Issue 2, July - December 2016, Pages 63-69


Original Article

Awareness of AIDS amongst High School Students in Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean
Dusic Aleksandar*, Harish C. Gugnani**, Mirjana Milutinovic*, Mehrnaz Amirpur***, Moiz Mohammed***, Beheshta Moshre***, Habeeba Sirajudeen***, Ashley Hayes***, Jacquelyn Jack***, Larae Bradford***, Victorine Etchu***, Julia Dickson***, Ricardo Paulin
*Departments of Physical Diagnosis & Investigation, and Epidemiology, Saint James School of Medicine, Saint Vincent & Grenadine, West Indies. **Departments of Microbiology and Epidemiology, Saint James School of Medicine, Albert Lake Drive, The Valle
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 Background: The Caribbean region is the second most affected region in the world in terms of rates of HIV prevalence after sub-Saharan Africa. HIV/AIDS education needs to target at the young age groups. The aim of the study was to investigate the awareness of AIDS amongst high school students in Bonaire. We hypothesized that after a thorough workshop for students (teens) in schools, they will have a better understanding of the transmission of AIDS and its prevention. Methods: Fifty-two students were tested by using Healthy Oakland Teens Survey, two times, initially and after conduction of workshop on AIDS for the students, in order to see efficiency of this education effort to improve knowledge of AIDS. Results: Knowledge of the students about AIDS significantly increased after conduction of the workshop as compared to that before the workshop. There was a decrease in the number of students stating they were uncomfortable having a conversation about the sex, AIDS and its protection with friends, parents and adults from 32% before the workshop to 26% after the workshop. Their openness for conversation about AIDS, its protection, and sex with friends, adults, and others in the social community also significantly increased after workshop as compared to that before the workshop. Conclusion: There is need for creating enhanced knowledge and awareness on HIV/AIDS among adolescents. It is crucial not only for protecting the students from AIDS but also for preventing the spread of HIV infection.

Keywords: AIDS; Awareness; High School Students; Bonaire.

Corresponding Author : Dusic Aleksandar *