Adolescent and Young Adult Understanding of the Differences Between Chlamydia, HIV, and AIDS

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Abstract

Objective.

To explore young people's understanding of the differences between Chlamydia, HIV, and AIDS.

Methods.

Participants from a hospital-based adolescent clinic completed a self-administered written survey. Three questions assessed participants’ understanding of the differences between Chlamydia, HIV, and AIDS.

Results.

Nearly half of the 119 participants selected “No” or “Don’t know” when asked if there are differences between Chlamydia and HIV and between HIV and AIDS. Increasing age was associated with correct response.

Conclusions.

A large proportion of youth in this sample did not know that there are differences between Chlamydia, HIV, and AIDS. Previous research suggests that some young people are afraid to be screened for Chlamydia because they fear that a Chlamydia diagnosis has the same ramifications as an AIDS diagnosis. Findings from this study indicate that more education about the differences between Chlamydia, HIV, and AIDS is needed.

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