Bahadir Ugur Aylikçi1, Cornelius Tokunbo Bamise2, Mehmet Mustafa Hamidi3, Mustafa Turkal4, Hakan Çolak3
1Department of Periodontology, Kirikkale University, Kirikkale, Turkey.
2Department of Restorative Dentistry, College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Nigeria.
3Department of Restorative Dentistry, Kirikkale University, Kirikkale, Turkey.
4Department of Prosthodontics, Kirikkale University, Kirikkale, Turkey.
Background: The purpose of the present study was to assess the existing level of knowledge of high school children about human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) and the sources of their information. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted in two high schools in Kirikkale, Turkey and data were collected by a self-administered questionnaire. Multi-stage sampling technique was used to obtain a representative sample. Results: Four hundred and seventy three participants; 230 males and 243 females were analyzed. Their ages ranged from 15 to 19 years with a mean age of 16.81 ± 1.27. 92.2% of the students claimed to have heard about HIV/AIDS prior to the study with slightly more females than males. Although with some misconceptions, majority of the participants knew that HIV is not transmitted by sharing meals, casual contact, and sleeping in the same room and using the same bathroom. 93.4% identiﬁed HIV/AIDS as a life-threatening disease and 27% believe that there is a cure for AIDS. 64% and 22.8% respectively believed that the people can protect themselves by using condoms and by avoiding sexual contact. Internet was preponderantly claimed as the most important source of information about HIV/AIDS. Conclusion: Empirical evidence from this study suggests that the students have a fairly high knowledge of HIV/AIDS. This is not without some misconceptions about the prognosis of the disease. Internet was the major source of HIV/AIDS information.
Keywords: Adolescents, human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, information, knowledge.