Main Article Content
Objective: To investigate knowledge, self-efficacy, and behavioural intent towards AIDS prevention behaviours among culturally diverse secondary school pupils in South Africa.
Design: Randomised study.
Setting: Three urban secondary schools in Pietersburg, South Africa.
Participants: Three hundred and sixty six Grade 11 secondary school pupils, comprising 150 (41%) males, and 216 (59%) females, aged 17 to 24 years (mean age 19.3 years, SD=2.6). The three cultural groups were 142 Blacks, 112 Whites and 112 Asians. Main outcome measures: The questionnaire included items on socio-economic and family background, knowledge about HIV, perceived self-efficacy and behavioural intent regarding AIDS preventive behaviours.
Results: Overall, the participants showed an adequate level of AIDS knowledge. However, there was considerable inaccuracy regarding AIDS transmission myths or how AIDS cannot be transmitted. The different cultural groups generally felt most self- efficacious regarding
how to protect themselves from becoming infected (75-90%) and least self-efficacious on knowing where to go for information on AIDS (72-74%). Generally, participants reported a high behavioural intent. The Whites stand second in knowledge and more or less second in
self-efficacy and behaviour intent. The Blacks stand third in knowledge and more or less second in self-efficacy and behaviour intent.
Conclusion: Culturally diverse knowledge, self-efficacy and behavioural intent towards AIDS prevention was found among White, Black and Asian pupils, which should inform a culturally sensitive and appropriate AIDS health promotion programme in South Africa.