Defense Date


Graduation Date

Summer 2005


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Instructional Leadership Excellence (ILEAD)


School of Education

Committee Chair

Barbara M. Manner

Committee Member

Ernest Dettore

Committee Member

Joseph Brennan


AIDS, Education, HIV


Infection by HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, continues to grow worldwide. The only way to stop infection is to educate the population on prevention by identifying methods of transmission and behaviors that put a person most at risk. Schools are an effective place to teach young people about HIV. The Pennsylvania School Code requires that HIV/AIDS education be provided to all public school students while details of the instruction are locally determined. This study investigated HIV/AIDS education in three counties of southwestern Pennsylvania: what was included in the curricula, what was taught to the students, and how the content compared to recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control. Surveys based on CDC guidelines were mailed. A demographic profile of those responsible for the HIV/AIDS instruction was developed and information about the schools was collected. The individuals providing the HIV/AIDS instruction were classroom teachers who were certified in different areas with a variety of experience. The subject of HIV/AIDS was presented to a range of grade levels and was consistently taught in health classes. The teachers received training from different sources; some did their own research and some received no training. Analysis revealed differences and inconsistencies among the HIV/AIDS curricula. HIV/AIDS education did not occur in all of the schools. All of the survey items showed a range of responses; none of the content statements was included by all of the schools and three were taught in all of the schools. The data indicated the various states of HIV/AIDS education, which needs to be more complete and uniform. The results of this study indicate need for further research. A similar study could be conducted in all of the districts throughout the state of Pennsylvania and/or include other states. Further study could also include the demographics of the instructors, their background and training, the methods of instruction, and how much time was devoted to different topics. The information from this study and that collected from future studies could help school districts to develop new or to strengthen current HIV/AIDS curricula.