What do deaf high school students know about HIV?

AIDS Educ Prev. 2010 Dec;22(6):523-37. doi: 10.1521/aeap.2010.22.6.523.


Deaf adolescents who use American Sign Language (ASL) as their main communication mode are, like their hearing age peers, at risk for acquiring HIV. Many sources of HIV information (radio and television) are not accessible to these adolescents. Little is known about HIV knowledge base and risk behaviors of this group. The objective of this study was to develop and administer, on laptop computer, an HIV knowledge and risk survey in ASL. Findings among 700 deaf adolescent participants attending high schools for the deaf throughout the United States showed that, on average, students knew correct answers to approximately half (x = 7.2) of 14 knowledge items (median: 7.0; range: 0-14; sd = 3.8) on a highly reliable knowledge scale (α = .83). Knowledge score was found in multivariable analysis to be strongly related to receiving HIV information in school. This population is clearly in need of linguistically and culturally accessible HIV prevention education delivered in school.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Communication Barriers*
  • Computers
  • Consumer Health Information / methods*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control
  • HIV Infections / psychology*
  • HIV Infections / transmission
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Persons With Hearing Impairments*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sign Language
  • Students / psychology
  • United States