Although many program planners see schools as a convenient location for HIV-prevention programs, there is controversy about whether school programs can ever be strong enough to go beyond improving knowledge and attitudes to increasing the adoption of safe sexual behaviors. Evaluations of school programs in Mexico, South Africa, and Thailand focus on this question: Can school HIV programs change behavior? In each country, local organizations have worked with educators on teacher training and course design to ensure high-quality school interventions. Researchers surveyed students’ knowledge, attitudes, norms, and reported behavior before the intervention, immediately after the intervention, and again several months later to measure retention of program effects. In all three sites comparable control groups are compared to the intervention group. The mean age and age ranges for the three study groups are: 16 years and 13–23 for the Mexican study group; 15 years and 8 months and ages 12–21 for the South African study group; and 20 years and ages 17–31 for the Thai study group. This report is a summary of key baseline findings from these studies.
Stewart, Holley, Ann P. McCauley, Simon Baker, Martha Givaudan, Shegs James, Iwin Leenen, Susan Pick, Priscilla Reddy, Usasinee Rewthong, Patchara Rumakom, and Dilys Walker. 2001. "Reducing HIV infection among youth: What can schools do? Key baseline findings from Mexico, South Africa, and Thailand," Horizons Report. Washington, DC: Population Council.