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Year : 1996  |  Volume : 40  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 4-9

Perception about AIDS among residents of a Calcutta slum.

Dept. of Health education, A.I.I.H & P.H. Calcutta

Correspondence Address:
A K Poddar
Dept. of Health education, A.I.I.H & P.H. Calcutta

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 9090893

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A study was carried out in a slum area of South Calcutta to assess the impact of the current mass education programme against AIDS. Two hundred and six residents, mainly of lower middle class, aged 18-60 years of both sexes were selected at random. They were interviewed to know their perception and sources of information about AIDS. Two-third of them had their own TV and radio, which they watched/heard for about three and half hours each day. Another 28% watched TV outside for about one and half hours a day. About 46% were daily readers and 20% occasional readers of newspapers. Fifty nine percent knew about persons vulnerable to get AIDS, but most of them associated it to promiscuity only. Avoiding it was the main means known to them for preventing AIDS. The role of condom in it was known to only 2.5% residents. The source of their knowledge was mainly TV, either alone or with other mass media (67%). Such knowledge was related to higher education. To make perception about AIDS more effective, it is suggested that local health and voluntary agencies should involve the community in the AIDS education programme along with the back-up of mass media. An apex agency solely responsible for AIDS education should be set up for each big city to co-ordinate the activities of local agencies.

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