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May 1989

Adolescents' Knowledge and Beliefs About AIDS: Did the Government Brochure Help?

Author Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital 3395 Scranton Rd Cleveland, OH 44109

Am J Dis Child. 1989;143(5):518-519. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1989.02150170012002

Sir.—The US government distributed a brochure, "Understanding AIDS,"1 to every household in the country in the spring of 1988. It described behaviors that place individuals at risk for human immunodeficiency virus infection. Urban adolescents are considered to be at high risk for this infection.2 Moreover, research indicates that adolescents have inadequate knowledge and inaccurate beliefs about acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).3-5 The purpose of this study was to determine if urban adolescents who reported reading the government brochure would demonstrate higher levels of knowledge, less distorted beliefs, and lower levels of social anxiety about AIDS compared with adolescents who had not read the brochure.

Materials and Methods.—A total of 177 students attending a Cleveland, Ohio, public high school were asked to complete questionnaires in their social studies, health, and home economics classes in June 1988, 1 to 2 weeks following delivery of the AIDS brochure to

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