Knowledge and attitudes towards HIV/STD among Indian adolescents

Syed N. Khalil, Michael W. Ross, Mathai Rabia, Subhash Hira

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4 Scopus citations


This is a secondary data set of a study conducted in 1996 among 1230 Indian students in the 11th and 12th grades in Bombay. The aim of the study is to examine the relationship of knowledge, health beliefs, attitudes, and risk behaviors to HIV/STD risk intentions among Indian adolescents and also to examine predictive utility of the Health Belief Model (HBM). Correlations, multiple regression, and logit regression were applied to predict the variables related to the HBM dimensions. The overall explanatory power of the models for either dimension of the HBM or preventive intention with knowledge about HIV/STD was modest. These results suggest that either the models are lacking some important variables or the measurement of key variables is inadequate. Another limitation is that the data collection tool was a secondary subset, and only some relevant questions were chosen to examine the aim of the study. The HBM is partially, but significantly, related to the likelihood of recommendation of preventive intention changes. Individual perception of a disease is more likely to depend upon the language spoken at home because Indian adolescents may assimilate health messages more completely when those messages are conveyed in the local language. Parent education levels do not influence preventive intention changes. However, it was observed that a low level of maternal education encouraged children's preventive intention. Girls especially have shown a higher intention to practice safer sex behaviors. Knowledge about HIV/ STD appears to influence preventive intention to practice safer sex behaviors. It is very important to teach Indian adolescents the proper use of condoms, and such education should be given in the local language. Indian male adolescents are more likely to report that they engage in risky behavior than female adolescents. Indian adolescents need greater access to relevant health education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-168
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Adolescence and Youth
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2005


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