A comparison of the knowledge and attitudes of school counselors trained in the prevention and awareness in schools of HIV/AIDS project and untrained counselors in Tanga Region, Tanzania
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In secondary schools in Tanzania, teachers are selected to take on the role of guidance and counselling in addition to their teaching duties. They are expected to be key players in supporting school youth to develop responsible sexual behaviour to avoid HIV/AIDS infections. However, it was unknown to what extent they fulfil this role or are willing and able to do so. The PASHA (Prevention and Awareness in Schools of HIV/AIDS) project has trained counsellors in the Tanga region of Tanzania on sexual reproductive health (SRH) and counselling skills. This study aimed to establish the effect of the training that was provided by PASHA on the knowledge and attitudes of school counsellors regarding HIV/AIDS. The research was conducted as a quantitative, observational KA (knowledge, attitude) study in 57 schools (37 or 32 % of the intervention schools, 20 non-intervention schools) in Tanga region, using questionnaires to compare the knowledge and attitudes of trained counsellors with those of untrained counsellorstowards HIV/AIDS, sexuality and reproductive rights of their students. Questionnaires were pre-tested and then administered face-to-face over a four week period in 2007. Eighty five counsellors were interviewed, 56 of these had received in-service training as counsellors, while 29 had not received any training by PASHA.