Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/*prevention & control
Analysis of Variance
Factor Analysis, Statistical
*Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
*Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome--prevention and control
Africa South Of The Sahara
English Speaking Africa
*Hiv Infections--prevention and control
It is important to develop community orientated approaches to health promotion. Malawi has one of the highest rates of AIDS/HIV infection and one of the lowest percentages of students in tertiary education, in the world. We surveyed the opinions of 175 undergraduate university students on developing prevention and education regarding HIV/AIDS. Descriptive statistics, analysis of variance and factor analysis revealed several important findings: there were no consequential differences between the responses of male and female students; information on self protection was rated as most important for AIDS/HIV education; the primary factor for AIDS/HIV prevention also related to protection, but this was in conjunction with a desire for "sex-perpetuation". These findings should contribute to the development of health promotion initiatives, directed at AIDS/HIV, which reflect the values and concerns of the university student community. Such an approach acknowledges the role of students as a major 'stakeholder' in the university community, rather than dissempowering them as simply the recipients of 'appropriate AIDS/HIV prevention/education'.
In Malawi, 175 male and female students of an introductory psychology course at Chancellor College of the University of Malawi completed a questionnaire designed to elicit their opinions on the prevention of and education about HIV/AIDS. No significant differences between the ratings of males and females on how to stop HIV/AIDS from spreading existed. The students identified the most important topics for HIV/AIDS education to be how to protect yourself from HIV/AIDS (score = 6.81), sexual behavior and HIV/AIDS (6.61), and different ways to contract AIDS (6.48). The students gave the highest ratings on how to prevent HIV/AIDS from spreading to giving people as much information as possible (6.45), discovering a vaccine (6.17), finding a cure (6.01), and discouraging sex outside of marriage (5.99). The factor analysis by varimax rotation revealed that the students rated self-protection as most important for HIV/AIDS education, but it was in conjunction with a desire for sex-perpetuation (accounting for 25% of the variation in students' responses). These findings suggest that students would appreciate lectures on AIDS and that the abstinence approach may be unrealistic. The informed harmony factor (accounting for 16% of the variation) supports the importance of good personal relationships regarding sexual behavior. In conclusion, these findings prove valuable to health promotion efforts as they apply to HIV/AIDS prevention at Chancellor College.