Differences among male/female adolescents participating in a school-based teenage education program (STEP) focusing on HIV prevention in india

Rosy Chhabra, Carolyn Springer, Bruce Rapkin, Yusuf Merchant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: With the rising threat of HIV in India, youth are an important group to reach for prevention education. This pilot study tested the efficacy of STEP (School-based Teenage Education Program focusing on HIV Prevention) for school children. Method: This pilot study randomized 25 schools in Mumbai to receive STEP (N=1846). We trained forty two undergraduates from local colleges to deliver the (six- session) program over a six-week period to eighth graders (age 13-15 years). Outcome measures collected at six weeks were HIV knowledge, attitudes toward abstinence/condom use, peer pressure, and confidence in dealing with risky social situations. A repeated measures analysis of variance was conducted with pretest and posttest scores with knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, and confidence as the within-group measures and gender as the between-group measure. Results: Both boys and girls significantly improved on knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs regarding HIV/AIDS and in their confidence level in dealing with risky behavior. However girls increased more on knowledge (P<.05), agreement with abstinence (P<.05), and agreement with condom use (P<.001). Girls had significantly less need to follow peers (P<.05), better understanding of precautions against HIV (P<.001), and a higher confidence level in dealing with risky social situations (P<.05). Conclusions: Overall, girls benefited more from the STEP intervention than boys. The literature documents strong gender disparities in HIV/AIDS knowledge, information sources, and consequences of sex for youth in India. However, more work is needed to define and document the reasons for the differences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S2-123-S2-127
JournalEthnicity and Disease
Volume18
Issue number2 SUPPL. 2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2008

Keywords

  • Education program
  • Gender differences
  • HIV
  • Health education
  • Prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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