Menna, T., Ali, A., and Worku, A. Reproductive Health (September 2015), 12:84, doi: 10.1186/s12978-015-0077-9.
This quasi-experimental study, conducted from March to June 2013, assessed whether peer education is an effective method of HIV prevention in high school settings. The authors assigned 560 grade 11 students from four purposely-selected secondary schools in different areas of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia into intervention and control groups. Only the intervention group received the peer education. Data for both groups were collected using self-administered questionnaires. The intervention students received twice-weekly 40-minute educational sessions on topics such as the structure and functions of human reproductive organs, HIV and AIDS, HIV prevention methods, and risky sexual behaviors among in-school youth delivered by peer education facilitators (students nominated by their peers based on their active class participations and good communications with other students), who had received two days of training. Comparison of pre- and post-intervention data revealed significant increases in comprehensive knowledge of HIV, willingness to accept HIV testing services, and likelihood of condom use in the intervention group, relative to the control group. The authors concluded that implementing peer-led HIV education programs in secondary schools could have significant positive effects on sexual behaviors and HIV prevention among in-school youth.