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African Health Sciences
Makerere University Medical School
ISSN: 1680-6905
EISSN: 1680-6905
Vol. 9, No. 2, 2009, pp. 82-91
Bioline Code: hs09016
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

African Health Sciences, Vol. 9, No. 2, 2009, pp. 82-91

 en Correlates of misperceptions in HIV knowledge and attitude towards People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs) among in-school and out-of-school adolescents in Ghana.
Sallar, Anthony M.


Background: A quarter century into the HIV pandemic, knowledge about sexual transmission and sharing of needles remain high just as misperceptions relating to casual contact.
Objectives: To assess HIV knowledge, misperceptions, and attitude towards people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs) among adolescents.
Methods: A cross sectional quantitative and qualitative study was conducted among adolescents aged 10-19 (n = 483; mean age, 16.6) in the Ashanti region of Ghana.
Results: Knowledge score ranged 0 to 38 (mean = 26.64; sd ± 6.74). To prevent AIDS, 78.1% mentioned sexual abstinence, condom use (72.7%), fidelity to partner (72.5%), not sharing needles (76.4%), and reducing sexual partners (56.7%). Statistically significant associations were found in high misperception scores and having negative attitude towards PLWHAs (0.001 < p < 0.009). Out-of-school adolescents were less likely to be willing to take care of HIV/AIDS relatives (p = 0.004); allow PLWHAs conceal their status (p < 0.001); allow PLWHAs to work with others (p = 0.007); more likely to let PLWHAs have less healthcare (p = 0.026); and indicate that PLWHAs should be isolated (p < 0.001).
Conclusion: Out-of-school adolescents constitute hard-to-reach population and mechanisms should be developed to reach them to reduce misperceptions which may fuel stigma and discrimination.

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