Date of Award

Fall 12-20-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Kymberle L. Sterling

Second Advisor

Dr. Kim S. Miller

Third Advisor

Dr. John Steward

Abstract

Background: The Division of Global HIV/AIDS at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working on a public health evaluation (PHE) in the eastern districts of Botswana. This PHE aims to evaluate the effectiveness of Project AIM, a group-level intervention designed to reduce HIV risk behaviors in youth ages 11 to 14, when combined with the regular Botswana Skills for Life Curriculum, a standard HIV prevention education curriculum in Botswana schools. In order to evaluate Project AIM, a self-report survey and a biological testing for herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) will be conducted.

Methodology: Based on studies done on the psychosocial impact of HSV-2 diagnosis on asymptomatic individuals in the USA, the literature recommends providing pre and post counseling and education to individuals testing for genital herpes to help cope and diminish the psychosocial impact of the diagnosis. In order to prepare Botswana’s clinics and schools participating in the PHE to provide the support for newly diagnosed adolescents with HSV-2, guidance materials were developed for health care practitioners and school guidance teachers. Materials were created using Information Mapping technique to analyze, organize, and present the information, and the Microsoft Office Flesch Kinkade Grade Level (FK) tool to assess the readability levels of the materials.

Results: Guidance materials were prepared using the 7±2 theoretical limit of human short-term memory information mapping rule, and the FK grade levels of 6.0 to 8.0 recommended readability scores. Guidance materials included information regarding HSV-2 symptoms, treatment, and prevention. They also included information on the PHE study, youth friendly health services, counseling and education, clinic referrals and contact information.

Conclusions: The development of guidance materials for schools and clinic participants of the CDC PHE in Botswana will provide health practitioners and school guidance teachers with accurate HSV-2 information to counsel and educate student participants in this research study. The guidance materials should help students cope with potential psychosocial disorders associated with pre and post diagnosis of HSV-2.

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