Knowledge and Attitude toward Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome among Peer Educators (Students) of District Amritsar, Punjab, India
Background: Human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) epidemic represents one of the most serious public health problems in India. Since there is no neither any cure, nor any vaccine to prevent its spread until now, education is the only means of preventing HIV and AIDS. There is a marked influence of peers on their lifestyles, attitude, and behavior of adolescents. Peer educators will help to impart knowledge and shatter the prevailing social myths about HIV and AIDS among the youth peers. Materials and Methods: A school based cross-sectional study was conducted to assess the Knowledge and attitude among the 370 designated peer educators (students) of different schools of Amritsar district at three Senior Secondary Schools of Amritsar city. A Pretested Performa prepared in the vernacular language was filled in by the peer educators before the start of 2 days training, under school AIDS control program. Results: Majority of peer educators (79.5%) belonged to age group 14-17 years, almost all peer educators had heard about HIV and AIDS. The findings indicated good knowledge regarding modes of transmission and prevention of HIV/AIDS with certain misconceptions. The majority of peer educators (91.4% boys and 93.4% girls) had the opinion that sex education is essential for school students. Conclusion: A high level of knowledge could be due to the selection of best students of classes as peer educators from various schools. As peer educators are important to help in dissemination of knowledge about mode of transmission and prevention. So, it is recommended that these peer educators should be equipped with ample amount of knowledge so that they can act as change mediators in the society.