Penta Projects in Schools: What do young people know about HIV?

16 Oct, 2020

Authors: Elena Mozzo; Valentina Ortolan; Elena Badio; Federica Batterman; and Chiara Novello

In October 2019, Penta began hosting HIV educational sessions in 5 high schools in Padova, Italy.

From October to December 2019, a total of 13 meetings were held with 16-year-old students. For each session, the first 2 hours consisted of a medical doctor discussing the scientific aspects of HIV infection, followed by 2 hours with an HIV activist, discussing the social aspects of HIV.

Each student who attended the session was asked to complete an anonymous questionnaire before (pre-test) and after (post-test) the session. A total of 356 pre-tests and 238 post-tests were completed.

Analysed pre-test data highlighted a number of areas of misinformation in the route of transmission, prevention, and treatments of HIV. Following analysis of the post-test data, it was found that overall students’ correct responses to questions around the route of transmission and prevention increased by 95%.

Data collected show a fair knowledge of HIV/AIDS among young people. Every effort must be made to educate young people, and these educational events have proved an effective means to do so.

Penta firmly believes in sexual education for young people as a means of both promoting sexual health and combatting the stigma around sexually transmitted diseases, especially HIV, thus contributing to the improvement of the quality of life of seropositive people.

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