the village told us that it’s common known where to find prostitutes, and he stated that although people tell that they don’t know where to find prostitutes, they do know. We saw that many students in the village weren’t acquainted with the word prostitution. When asking if there was any prostitution in their village they answered no, but when asking if women sometimes get money for having sex they answered yes.
HIV-testing: Of all students participating in the interviews only four students in the village had been tested for HIV. More than half of the students would like to find out if they had the infection, but some of them didn’t know where they can do the test.
During the personal interviews some reflections, ideas and conceptions came up that aren’t represented under the titles above. The students also had many questions to us during the interviews. Below is a summary of some of the statements and questions.
In the village one student told us that HIV is a dangerous disease but you don’t die from it if you want to live. He said that if you loose the belief that you will survive, you will die. Another student asked how many prostitutes you can have sex with before you get infected and how long time the virus stays in your body if you get the infection. A question that came up during one interview was how many persons a HIV infected person can infect, is there a limited number? Many of the students in the village wanted us to tell them all the different ways that HIV is spread by.
In the city many students asked us how to use a condom. Two female students asked if there’s a condom for girls. One boy asked if a condom is a tablet. One female student told us that the HIV virus first was found in an animal in the USA, and from that animal it was spread throughout the world. Another female student said that sex shouldn’t be shown on television since that would tempt the young males to visit prostitutes.
Difficulties and sources of error
We had some problems reaching the students since they had a busy schedule doing their final exams before summer vacation. During our stay in India the election for the National Parliament was going on. This also caused some problems for us. Some of the teachers and headmasters were involved in the election and it was hard to get in contact with them and some of the schools were even closed.
The students answered the questionnaires while sitting close to each other in their classrooms. That made it possible for the students to look at each others answers. We also noticed that quiet discussions sometimes occurred among students in the classroom. The personal interviews in the schools took place in the corner of the classroom or in a separate room. During the interviews there were often disturbing elements, such as curios classmates, teachers and cleaners. The interviews made at the hospital in Nannaj were performed in an examination room or in a separate building at the hospital. We were sometimes disrupted during the interviews since the interpreters also had to take part in the ordinary work at the hospital. We got the impression that the interpreter sometimes didn’t translate correctly and gave the students alternative answers where there shouldn’t be any. The reason for this was probably the interpreters limited knowledge of the English language.