Objectives: To promote understanding of social determinants of HIV-related risks and to inform development of effective and sustainable HIV responses through community engagement and leadership among college students.
Methods: A cross sectional study was undertaken among 5700 rural and urban college students between the age group of 17 – 25 in Chennai, involving the Medical University and the Arts & Science Colleges by adapting standard questionnaire and statistical analysis using SPSS software. This was followed by a series of colleges level sensitization workshops for the students and teaching faculty in 45 colleges.
Results:The study brought out that only 55.5% had knowledge about the origin of HIV and 54.7% were aware that positive people can contract TB. There was statistical significance P<0.05 with regard to origin of HIV, drug addicts sharing needles, Men who have sex with Men (MSM), mother to child transmission etc. 90% of the girls were unaware of the menstrual hygiene, conceiving and related issues. 95% felt that continuous education on HIV/AIDS was essential.
Through these workshops 5700 students (57:43 ratio of girls and boys) were sensitized on social determinants of HIV-related risks. Team of cadres have been promoted in 45 colleges to lent leadership for promoting effective and sustainable HIV responses. They were made to come out of the myth, social stigma and promote the rights of People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV).
Conclusion: Arts and Science colleges do not have programs for enhancing awareness and learning on knowledge, skills, best practices from the response to AIDS and other emergent epidemics. Stigmatization and discrimination are not seen by the students as violation of human rights. There is a need for scaling up of evidence based interventions. In the context of 2.4 million Indians living with HIV/AIDS continuous education for students is a mandate
K. Mary Sushi,
K. Sivasangeetha, None
S. Mini Jacob, None
G. Thatchinamoorthy, None
D. Anitha, None
A. Ganesan, None
G. Pachiyappan, None
P. Gowthami, None
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