Finland had a relatively low rate of HIV infection during the first 17 years of the epidemic, which began in 1980. Similar to other developed countries around the world, information about the infection has been readily available, and this helped to reduce the occurrence of HIV contagion, particularly among adolescents, a group that is responsible for 50% of HIV infections worldwide. This small-scale study investigated HIV-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviour among a group of 171 youths aged 13–16 years in suburban schools in southern Finland. Knowledge levels were relatively low and the disease was somewhat stigmatized, but homosexuality was less stigmatized than in other developed countries. The results suggest that Finnish adolescents need to be better informed about HIV and AIDS. Schools and school nurses could play a crucial role in providing information about this incurable disease.
- sexual risk behavior