199162 A school-based educational intervention to increase knowledge about HIV among teenage students in rural Western Kenya

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Kirsten L. Thompson , SUNY Downstate Medical Center College of Medicine, Brooklyn, NY
Ioannis Kalampokis , SUNY Downstate Graduate Program in Public Health, State University of New York at Downstate, Brooklyn, NY
BACKGROUND: The greatest burden of the HIV/AIDS epidemic lies in the sub-Saharan Africa with most new infections occurring in adolescents and young adults. The rural Western province of Kenya is among the most heavily affected regions. Myths about HIV transmission and treatment perpetuate especially in rural areas. We describe an intervention to increase knowledge about HIV among teenage students in a rural area in Western Kenya.

METHODS: The project involved a school-based educational intervention conducted as part of a broader HIV awareness campaign by the organization “Volunteer Kenya” (known as Inter-Community Development Involvement / ICODEI). Participants were recruited from schools in the surrounding areas of Kabula, a small rural town in Western Kenya. The intervention was integrated in the schools' sexual education programs and consisted of a 60 minute long educational session presented by a trained educator. All participants received the intervention. Knowledge about HIV was assessed via a questionnaire administered before and after the session. The sessions and all material were provided in Swahili. Mean pre- and post-intervention scores (expressed as the percentage of correct answers) were compared by means of paired sample t test.

RESULTS: Participants consisted of 267 teenage students (51% males) ranging from 10-19 years of age (mean: 14.3, SD = 1.8). Pre- and post-intervention mean scores were 65.9 (SD:13.0) and 70.2 (SD:12.5) respectively with a statistically significant mean difference of 4.3 (95% CI: 2.7-5.8, p<0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS: The intervention increased participants' knowledge about HIV transmission and treatment in the short term.

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate the effectiveness of a school-based educational intervention in increasing the knowledge about HIV among teenage students in western rural Kenya.

Keywords: HIV Interventions, HIV/AIDS

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am currently a student at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, College of Medicine. I devised this study, completed data collection, and taught the HIV education sessions in Kenya.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.