AIDS knowledge, attitudes, and behavior among inner city, junior high school students.

David Siegel, N. Lazarus, F. Krasnovsky, M. Durbin, M. Chesney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


To gain information about AIDS knowledge, attitudes, and behavior of junior high school students, 1,967 students in three junior high schools in an inner city school district were surveyed. Ages of the participants ranged from 11-16 years, and 48% were male. Ethnically, 33% were Asian, 31% African-American, 24% Latino, and 5% white. African-American students had greater AIDS general knowledge than Asians and similar general knowledge to Latinos and whites. Most students wanted to be taught about AIDS in school. Misconceptions about casual contagion of AIDS were common. Students with these misconceptions were more likely to believe that students with AIDS should not be allowed to attend school. A high proportion of students had engaged in high-risk behavior including sexual intercourse, drinking alcoholic beverages, and using street drugs. More boys than girls reported each of these activities. Of individuals having had sexual intercourse, a positive association was found between the belief that condoms are effective in preventing HIV infection and use of condoms. These findings support the possibility that improving knowledge about HIV transmission would result in more tolerance toward students with HIV infection and would result in less high-risk behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)160-165
Number of pages6
JournalThe Journal of school health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Nursing(all)
  • Education


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