Background: Among adolescents, girls are particularly vulnerable not only because they are more likely to be coerced for unprotected sex but also because they are more susceptible biologically to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV infection. This study was carried out to determine the effectiveness of an educational intervention programme aimed at girls focusing on knowledge of and attitude to HIV/AIDS. Method: An educational intervention study was carried out among 791 rural girls (16-19 years) randomly selected using stratified cluster sampling from coastal villages in Udupi Taluk, Karnataka, Southern India. They were educated regarding HIV/AIDS and their awareness levels were evaluated immediately and one month following intervention. Results: Around 35-50% of the girls had misconceptions regarding the modes of transmission which significantly reduced to about 8 % after intervention (95% CI of difference in proportion = (9.2, 17.9); p<0.001). However, there was no change in their attitude regarding caring for people living with AIDS. Conclusion: The data suggest that the educational programme can lead to a change in the knowledge of HIV/AIDS but more intensive sessions may be needed to bring about a change of attitude about caring for people with AIDS.
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