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taking care of an HIV infected (34% before intervention and 3% after). It should be noted that more male than female students participated in the follow up part of the study (5).

Aim of the study

The aim of the survey was to investigate awareness, attitudes and risk behaviour for HIV among teenagers in the rural area and in a middle sized city in central India. A good knowledge about how HIV is spread and how it can be prevented is of big importance for preventing the further spread of the disease. Informing teenagers about HIV is very important since they are or soon will be in a sexually active age. The knowledge about the disease, as well as the misconceptions about it, strongly influence how people behave and their attitudes to HIV infected persons. The teenagers’ interest for HIV testing was also investigated.

Methods and participants

The study was conducted in April and May 2004 in Nannaj and Solapur. A standardised questionnaire was used (Appendix) and personal interviews with open questions were also made. Since many of the students not fully understood English, some of the questionnaires were translated into the local language Maharati. The translation was made by Dr Priti at St Luke’s Health and Welfare Centre. The same questionnaire was used in similar studies in China and Tanzania, but some of the questions had to be modified to fit the Indian circumstances (such as religion etc). The personal interviews were performed using a set of questions (Appendix) that were extended during the interviews. The majority of the interviews were done together with interpreters translating from English to Maharati and vice versa. The interpreters were Dr Priti and Sister Torne at St Luke’s Health and Welfare Centre.

The participants of our study were students between 15 and 20 years. We invited them to participate by visiting their schools and informing about the study. We stressed that they were free not to participate and if participating they were free not to answer questions they found too personal. The students were also informed that everything was strictly confidential. In the rural area we visited the science classes at Shelgaon pre college school (40 km from Nannaj). In the city we visited two schools; Mery be Harding pre college school (a college for future teachers ) and Shree Academy (which holds private coaching classes after the “ordinary” school), both in Solapur. The students answered the questionnaires in their classrooms. The personal interviews were made at St Luke’s Health and Welfare Centre in Nannaj and in the two schools in Solapur.

Statistics When counting the statistics the confidence interval (CI) of 95% was used.

Formula: Interval = mean value ± 1.96 square root ( p ( 100 p ) / n ), where n is number of observations and p is frequency in percent. These calculations were done for the numbers where p n 500 and (1 p) n 500. (11)


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