Knowledge about AIDS among female adolescents in Bangladesh: Evidence from the BDHS data

Type Conference Paper - The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA
Title Knowledge about AIDS among female adolescents in Bangladesh: Evidence from the BDHS data
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2002
City Philadelphia
Country/State PA
To assess the knowledge about AIDS among female adolescents in Bangladesh, this study used data extracted from the 1996-97 Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey. Of the 1446 ever-married women included in the study, the overwhelming majority were currently married (96%), Muslim (92%) and were from rural areas (91%). Of great concern is that about one in six adolescents had ever heard of AIDS, of these, about 44 percent reported that there was no way to avoid AIDS, while one-third did not know whether AIDS could be avoided. About 57 percent of the adolescents who had heard of AIDS reported that people with AIDS almost always died of the disease, although a quarter of them did not know any definite information. As a major source of AIDS information, television was mentioned by 68 percent of the adolescents, while radio by 44 percent and friends or relatives by 40 percent of the adolescents. Multivariate analysis revealed that AIDS knowledge was strongly and positively associated with education of adolescents and their husbands and varied significantly across different parts of the country. AIDS knowledge was higher among relatively older and urban residents, who had access to television or radio and whose husbands were using condom. Strong efforts need to be generated to create awareness as well as to clarify misconceptions about AIDS. Enhancement of education, improved access to mass media and promotion of condom use could strengthen the HIV/AIDS prevention among female adolescents in Bangladesh.

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