Secondary schooling can improve social skills, job prospects and reduce inequality. However, a recent study found that it can also reduce the HIV infection risk. This study was published in The Lancet Global Health. Researchers found that an extra year in secondary education may be the best preventive against HIV infection.
Prof. Jacob Bor from the Boston University School of Public Health, said that the secondary education may be excellent preventive against HIV infection. It should be a part of already proved preventives.
It is very hard to isolate the education effect on the risk of HIV infection from other factors such as psychological traits, family background and socioeconomic status. Researchers used the school policy from Botswana. It was the basis. They assess the role of increased number of years is secondary education in the HIV infection risk.
Botswana is one of the most infected countries in the world. In 2013, 22% of adults (15-49 years old) were HIV positive.
In 1996. Free grade 10 education was a part of secondary education. It increased the number of years of education among teenagers by 0.8 years. Researchers compared data from the Botswana AIDS Impact Surveys to extended secondary education. They analyzed 7.081 men and women, who were aged 18, or older at the time when these studies were conducted.
Researchers found that people who had a year of extra secondary education, had 8% less risk of HIV infection. People who didn’t have an extra year, had a 25% risk of HIV infection. The risk was higher among women. Jan-Walter de Neve a Co-author, said that secondary education can be partially effective in reducing the risk of HIV infection.