A study of the factors that affect the implementation of human immunodeficiency virus education programs in Pennsylvania schools

Bernard Joseph Healey, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract

Public health authorities believe that one of the greatest public health threats facing the United States today is infection with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (H.I.V.). In response to this threat, the Pennsylvania State Board of Education added Amendment 5.10a to Chapter V, Curriculum Regulations entitled "Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome" in September of 1987. The amendment required school districts in the Commonwealth to offer their students educational programs about H.I.V. which is the virus that causes AIDS.^ This study focused on the priority placed on H.I.V. education by the school superintendents in Pennsylvania. The study was done in two parts. Part I consisted of a mailed questionnaire to all school superintendents in Pennsylvania. Part II was a random sample of twenty school districts in the Commonwealth and a personal interview was conducted with the school superintendent.^ This study identified that most schools in Pennsylvania are offering limited hours of H.I.V. education. Safer sex is not discussed in most schools until high school. Few superintendents received H.I.V. education. Many H.I.V. educators in Pennsylvania schools have been inadequately prepared for their task. Most schools do not plan to evaluate the results of their H.I.V. education initiative.^ The findings of this study suggest that a superintendent with a science background will place a greater priority on H.I.V. education. The study also concluded that if the superintendent received H.I.V. education and was aware of the number of cases of AIDS in the county where the school district was located they placed a greater priority on H.I.V. education for students. The findings of this study imply that Amendment 5.10a is not adequately preparing students to prevent infection with H.I.V. To improve this initiative in Pennsylvania schools, a mandated H.I.V. curriculum which would include the number of hours of education for each grade, certification of the H.I.V. educator and yearly program evaluation of the H.I.V. education program is indicated. ^

Subject Area

Education, Administration|Education, Health

Recommended Citation

Bernard Joseph Healey, "A study of the factors that affect the implementation of human immunodeficiency virus education programs in Pennsylvania schools" (January 1, 1990). Dissertations available from ProQuest. Paper AAI9112572.
http://repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI9112572

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