Knowledge and attitudes of young people in Guyana to HIV/AIDS

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



International Journal of STD and AIDS


Volume 18, Issue 3

Inclusive Pages



Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome--epidemiology; HIV; Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice; Contraceptives; Women's Health; HIV/AIDS; Race and Ethnicity Data


HIV prevalence in Guyana is the third highest in the Caribbean which, in turn, is the second–most-affected region in the world. Over 2000 young people aged 12–20 years completed self-report questionnaires that examined their knowledge of HIV/AIDS, their attitudes to sexual behaviours and their intentions with regard to virginity and use of condoms. Nearly one-quarterof young people aged 12–14 were sexually active and thisrose to over one-third for youths aged 15 years and over, butcondoms were only used consistently by two in five of thesepersons. Attitudes and intentions towards sexual behaviour were significantly influenced by religious teaching as well as by gender and age. Hence, prevention strategies for the spread of HIV/AIDS should harness religious belief and practice, especially in societies such as Guyana where religious affiliation remains strong.