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Revista de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0034-8910On-line version ISSN 1518-8787


CABALLERO HOYOS, Ramiro; VILLASENOR SIERRA, Alberto  and  HIDALGO SAN MARTIN, Alfredo. Sources of information and their relationship to the degree of knowledge of AIDS, in adolescents of Mexico. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 1997, vol.31, n.4, pp.351-359. ISSN 0034-8910.

INTRODUCTION: In Mexico 2.1% of the cases of AIDS are in adolescents. The cases of AIDS in the age group of 20 to 29 account for 30.5% of all the cases and an important proportion could have been infected with HIV in their adolescence, in view of the longth of the incubation period from the infection with HIV to the manifestation of the syndrome. The adolescent's knowledge of HIV/AIDS varies. In some urban contexts the adolescents have lay concepts and myths that could guide them into misting practices that could lead to contamination by HIV. The mass media, especially television, and interpersonal sources such as teachers, parents and peers are important sources of information about HIV/AIDS and have a central role in the social construction and public perception of the problem in adolescents. The objective of the study is to relate the degree of knowledge of HIV/AIDS to the exposure to information sources among adolescents in Guadalajara city, in Mexico. MATERIAL AND METHOD: Survey sample with autoapplied questionnaire. Sample of 1,410 adolescents, male and female, of 15 to 19 years of age, in the four socioeconomic strata. The Chi-square and BTukey tests, 95% confidence interval for proportions and means, and simple ANOVA factor were applied. RESULTS: A considerate degree of knowledge (mean of 13.94 correct answer out of 24, standard deviation=4.09, 95% CI=13.69-14.11) was found significant mean differences in favor of the high (15.70) and medium (14.26) strata as opposed to the low (13.51) and marginalized (12.85) (F=19.39, p <.0001, BTukey level .050). The information published by the newspapers (F=11.1; p <.001) and the teachers (F=3.72; p < .05) had a direct relationship to the degree of knowledge imported by the daily exposure to the television and other social demographic variables. CONCLUSIONS: The results describe the presence of inequalities by socioeconomic strata in the list of sources in information and the levels of knowledge about HIV/AIDS. It is necessary to strengthen and develop educational action and the publication of messages through the media, institutions and interpersonal networks, with emphasis on interpersonal and media sources available to the low and marginalized strata, and at the same time, to strengthen the action of sources of information available to the other socioeconomic strata.

Keywords : Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome; Knowledge, attitudes, practice.

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