Peer education is a strategy used worldwide as an approach to HIV/AIDS prevention. The present paper describes the efficacy evaluation of a peer education program to prevent HIV/AIDS in North Italy (Verbania). The program aims to promote internal causal attribution to health, intense negative emotions toward HIV/AIDS, and changes in social representation of HIV/AIDS. Efficacy evaluation was developed with a pre/post quasi experimental design. A self-report questionnaire was administered to 212 students (112 students attending schools in which the program was implemented and 100 students attending schools not included in the program). The questionnaire was completed before and after the intervention. Results showed that, after the intervention, the experimental group reported greater internal health locus of control compared to the control group. Additionally, after the intervention, boys in the experimental group reported higher levels of negative emotions toward HIV/AIDS. Contradictory results emerged for girls who, after the intervention, reported increased stereotypical representation of HIV/AIDS. The implications of the results as regards to HIV/AIDS are discussed.
Keywords: Peer education, HIV/AIDS prevention, efficacy evaluation, adolescents, health, school
Mauro Croce, Francesca Cristini, Andrea Gnemmi, Luca Sacchi, Peer education and AIDS prevention: more responsibility for their health in "PSICOLOGIA DI COMUNITA’" 2/2010, pp. 99-112, DOI:10.3280/PSC2010-002010