Evaluation of HIV/AIDS prevention intervention messages on a rural sample of South African youth\'s knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and behaviours over a period of 15 months

  • Karl Peltzer Department of Psychology, School of Health Sciences, University of Venda for Science and Technology, Private Bag X5050, Thohoyandou 0950, South Africa and Human Sciences Research Council, Private Bag X91182, Cape Town 8000, South Africa
  • Phillip Seoka University of the North, Private Bag X1106, Sovenga 0727, South Africa
Keywords: Evaluation, HIV/AIDS, youth, knowledge, attitudes


The aim of this study is to evaluate HIV/AIDS prevention intervention messages in a large rural youth population (15–24 years) in South Africa over a period of 15 months. A representative community sample of 421 youth at time one and 416 at time two participated in the study using a three-stage cluster sampling method for a household survey. Results show that over a period of 15 months sexual risk behaviour reduced (multiple partners) and the number of sexually transmitted symptoms reduced. Attitudes towards persons living with HIV/AIDS improved partly due to mass media and to a lesser extent through community interventions and partly determined by the high level of mortality experienced in the studied communities. Peer educators had a significant impact on HIV/AIDS knowledge and favourable attitude towards people living with HIV/AIDS, magazines on lower HIV risk behaviour and exposure to HIV/AIDS radio messages on consistent condom use. In this African sample of youth the reduction of sexual partners seem to be more feasible than (consistent) condom use to prevent STD and HIV infection.

Journal of Child and Adolescent Mental Health 2004, 16(2): 93–102

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eISSN: 1728-0591
print ISSN: 1728-0583