Percentage of population ages 15–24 with comprehensive correct knowledge of HIV/AIDS is the share of women and men ages 15–24 who correctly identify the two major ways of preventing the sexual transmission of HIV (using condoms and limiting sex to one faithful, uninfected partner), who reject the two most common local misconceptions about HIV transmission and who know that a healthy-looking person can transmit HIV.
Goal 6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.
Target 7. Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS.
The indicator reflects the success of national information, education and communication programmes and other efforts in promoting knowledge of valid HIV prevention methods and reducing misconceptions about the disease. Common local misconceptions can be determined by the context of the country.
Method of computation
Since there are not enough surveys to calculate the indicator as defined above, the United Nations Children’s Fund, in collaboration with the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS and the World Health Organization, has produced two proxy indicators that represent two components of the actual indicator:
Percentage of women and men ages 15–24 who know that a person can protect oneself from HIV infection by “consistent use of condom”. The indicator is calculated as the number of respondents ages 15–24 who, in response to prompting, correctly identify consistent use of condoms as a means of protection against HIV infection, as a percentage of the total number of respondents ages 15–24.
Percentage of women and men ages 15–24 who know a healthy-looking person can transmit HIV. The indicator is calculated as the number of respondents ages 15–24 who, in response to prompting, correctly note that a person who looks healthy may transmit HIV, as a percentage of the total number of respondents ages 15–24.
Data collection and source
Data on knowledge and misconception on HIV/AIDS are collected through household surveys (such as Demographic and Health Surveys, Rural Household Surveys, Behavioural Surveillance Surveys and Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys).
Monitoring the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS: Guidelines on Construction of Core Indicators, 2002, Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (www.unaids.org/UNGASS/docs/JC718-CoreIndic_en.pdf).
Periodicity of measurement
Household surveys, such as Demographic and Health Surveys, Rural Household Surveys, and Behavioural Surveillance Surveys and Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys, are generally conducted every three to five years.
Women’s risk of becoming infected with HIV during unprotected sexual intercourse is higher than that of men. And the risk is even higher for younger women. Social and cultural factors may increase women’s vulnerability to HIV infection. For instance, cultural norms related to sexuality often prevent girls from taking active steps to protect themselves.
In many countries, girls are becoming infected and dying younger than boys, for various reasons, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, the region most affected by HIV/AIDS.
International data comparisons
HIV/AIDS Database, www.measuredhs.com.
The State of the World’s Children, annual, United Nations Children’s Fund (www.unicef.org/publications).
Young People and HIV/AIDS: Opportunity in Crisis, 2002, United Nations Children’s Fund, Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS and World Health Organization
Epidemiological Fact Sheets, Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS, World Health Organization and United Nations Children’s Fund (www.who.int/emc-hiv/fact_sheets).
Comments and limitations:
See “Methods of computation”.
United Nations Children’s Fund.