Risky Business: South African youths and HIV/AIDS prevention

Educational Studies 27 (3):237-256 (2001)
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Behavior change is the only available means of curtailing new HIV infections in South Africa. This study investigated the relationship between sexual risk taking and attitudes to AIDS precautions. The participants were about 25% white, about 30% colored/mixed blood and 45% black in their second year in polytechnics (413 females and 402 males). Participants responded to the 40-item HIV-related knowledge, attitudes and behaviors. Data indicated that young women showed more positive attitudes to AIDS precautions than young men (reflecting in part the stereotypic negative attitudes of young men toward condoms). In general, most males and females were found to have less knowledge about HIV transmission and less favorable attitudes toward safe sex behavior than their counterparts in the west. Also young men with more partners expressed more fatalistic attitudes toward AIDS. The possibility that a finergrained multivariate analysis of attitudes to AIDS and safe-sex behaviour is something that needs to be taken seriously in future research, however



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