Received date: January 27, 2013; Accepted date: March 20, 2013; Published date: March 22, 2013
Citation: Khalid FA, Mohammed AA, Farah EA (2013) Knowledge and Awareness of AIDS among University of Kassala Students, Sudan. J Community Med Health Educ 3:201. doi: 10.4172/2161-0711.1000201
Copyright: © 2013 Khalid FA, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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Background: HIV/AIDS is the global health problem. Sudan is most severely affected country in North Africa and Middle East. 500,000 individuals from different sectors of the community, including students, were estimated to be lived with HIV/ AIDS. Aim: To investigate the knowledge and awareness of HIV/AIDS among the students of University of Kassala. Method: Descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among the students of the University of Kassala, Kassala State, Sudan. The study was held from April through July 2011. Data was collected through self administered questionnaire and analyzed by using SPSS version (16.0). Results: The students were knowledgeable about the infectious nature of the disease (78.7%) and the causative agent (91.7%). Moreover, they were aware of route of transmission through sexual intercourse (88.4%), transfusion of contaminated blood (71.9%), usage of contaminated needle (73.7%) and vertically from mother to child (64.1%). Less than half of the students knew the symptoms of HIV/AIDS and only 20% of them knew the fact that, AIDS had no vaccine. More than half of the students were aware of prevention of HIV/AIDS by health education and not sharing the instruments with infected persons. Conclusion: The students had a satisfactory knowledge on the communicability of the disease, the ausative agents, and they were aware of route of transmission but misconception of the symptoms and preventive measure. The source of information for all students is the mass media which is not satisfactory enough, so intensive health education programs are required and included in the curriculum of faculties.
HIV infection; Knowledge; Awareness; Students; Sudan
Human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) is the global health problem, with estimated 33.4 million persons living with HIV, about 2 million people died of AIDS and 2.7 million people were newly infected with the virus worldwide [1-3]. The impact of HIV/AIDS on children and young people is a great and growing problem. In 2008, 430,000 children under age 15 were infected with HIV and 280,000 died of AIDS . In addition, about 15 million children have lost one or both parents due to the disease.
Sudan is the most severely affected country in North Africa and the Middle East. Estimated number of people living with HIV in Sudan was 260,000; the age of them is greater than 15 years. Deaths due to AIDS were estimated to be 12,000 . The prevalence of infection varied between regions. The high prevalence is considered in Eastern State, Khartoum State and White Nile State .
HIV and AIDS prevalence has estimated to be vary between different sectors (0.5%-4.4%) . It was reported among different sectors as 4% for internal displaced population and refugees, 2% among prisoners, 1.3% among street children, and 1.1% among university students . It was increased among blood donors from 0.15% in 1993 to 1.4% in 2000 . AIDS had no vaccines and no effective treatment so the only way to combat it is by awareness and prevention. Thus the present study aimed at assessing the knowledge and awareness of students regarding HIV/AIDs.
Descriptive, Cross-sectional study was conducted among the students of the University of Kassala, Eastern Sudan during May through July 2011. The study was targeting 4000 students, who involved in Bachelor Program at the time of the study. Those students were from Faculty of Education, Faculty of Economic & Administrative Sciences, and Faculty of Computer Sciences & Technology information.
To assess the students’ knowledge and awareness regarding HIV/AIDS, self administered questionnaire was used. The questionnaire pertaining to the infective nature of AIDS, Infectious agents, mode of transmission, signs and symptoms, availability of vaccine and curability in addition to the preventive methods. Before The distribution of the questionnaire among 455 students, the objective of the study was explained to participants and they were informed that their participation was voluntary. Only 395 questionnaires were fully answered.
The data were entered in computer using SPSS software for Windows version (16.0) (SPSS, Inc, Chicago, IL) and compared between the different faculties.
Ethical clearance of the present study was taken from students’ deanship, University of Kassala, Eastern Sudan, Sudan.
A total of 395 students from different faculties of the university (Table 1), responded to questionnaire, 185 (46.8%) were males and 210 (53.2%) were females. Their age ranged from 17 to 35years with mean (20.45 ± 2.89). Table 2 shows that the students were knowledgeable about infectious nature of disease (78.1%), infectious agents (91.7%), and also understood that the disease was incurable (74.1%). However, only 20% of students understood the fact that there is no vaccine against HIV. The study also explained that the students were aware of the route of transmission of AIDS through sexual intercourse, transfusion of contaminated blood, vertically from mother to child and by using contaminated needle that is significantly associated with sex (P=0.01). The students were unaware of symptoms of HIV/AIDS except in case of general weakness. More than half of the students were aware of prevention of HIV/AIDS by health education and not sharing the equipment with infected persons. As shown in table 3 the students from Faculty of Computer Sciences & Technological Information were highly aware of route of transmission (75.8%) compared to other faculties, and also about the infective nature of the disease (86.3%), which is significantly associated with faculties (p=0.04). Like other faculties, they had poor knowledge of vaccine and preventive methods of the disease.
|Faculty||Number of students||%|
|Economic & Administrative Sciences||157||39.7|
|Computer Sciences & Technological Information||95||24.1|
Table 1: Number of students according to the Faculties.
|Mode of transmission of AIDS||No of students (%)|
|1. Usage of contaminated sharp equipments||73.7|
|2. Through sexual intercourse||88.4|
|3. Transfusion of contaminated blood||71.9|
|4. Vertically from mother to child||64.1|
|Symptoms of AIDS|
|1. Enlargement of lymph nodes||24.1|
|3. General weakness||62.0|
|Prevention of AIDS|
|1. Not sharing equipment||58.2|
|2. Health education||71.9|
|3. Regular investigation||45.6|
Table 2: Knowledge of students about the mode of transmission, symptoms and prevention of AIDS.
|Variable||Faculty of Education 143 (%)||Faculty of Economic and Administrative Sciences 157 (%)||Faculty of Computer sciences and technological information 95 (%)||p value|
|Infectious nature of AIDs||104 (72.7)||125 (79.6)||82 (86.3)||0.04|
|AIDS is a viral disease||132 (92.3)||145 (92.4)||85 (89.9)||0.69|
|Signs & symptoms||13 (09.1)||17 (10.8)||07 (07.4)||0.79|
|Method of transmission||94 (65.7)||106 (67.5)||72 (75.8)||0.296|
|Curability of AIDS||106 (74.1)||126 (80.3)||66 (69.5)||0.34|
|Vaccine||29 (20.3)||34 (21.7)||16 (16.8)||0.21|
|prevention||45 (31.5)||49 (31.2)||39 (66.3)||0.29|
Table 3: Comparison the knowledge and awareness of students according to faculties.
AIDS is a global health problem with an estimated 33.4 million infected persons worldwide [1,2]. It affects all body systems as well as the mental health and social relationship of carriers and asymptomatic patients . In Sudan the prevalence of the disease among different sectors of the community including students was reported . In this study most of students understood the communicability of AIDS and its causative agents. Similar finding was reported in the study held in Pakistan  and Turkish  and South Africa . Awareness regarding HIV/AIDS transmission routes was satisfactory among students, they were aware of transmission of the disease through sexual intercourse, usage of unsterile equipment, transfusion of contaminated blood and vertically from mother to child. Similar result was reported in the study conducted in China , Karatchi , Kazakhistan  and Nigiria . In contrast with the present findings, inadequate knowledge about route of transmission was reported among black students in the University of Western Cape, South Africa . Knowledge and awareness of the students to the routes of transmission and prevention are very important to control the disease. Disease control is cheaper and effective by means of preventive strategies than curative ones.
Poor knowledge about AIDS vaccine among the study groups, contradicts the finding of a study conducted in Islamabad, which showed 68.7% of students were aware of the fact that, no vaccine against AIDS . Also the result of the study revealed that, the students demonstrated unsatisfactory knowledge and awareness of symptoms and preventive measures of the disease. The study conducted in China revealed that most of the students identify routes of HIV transmission, but a large proportion held misconceptions regarding symptoms, activities that did not transmit the virus, treatment and preventive measures . The source of information for all students is the mass media through TV, radio, magazine or friends, not from their families or faculty curriculum. The prevention of HIV/AIDS is a major global public health goal. The best way to prevent a disease which had no effective treatment is through education program.
The students had a satisfactory knowledge on the communicability of the disease, the causative agents, and they were aware of route of transmission but misconception of the symptoms and preventive measures. The major source of information for all students is the mass media which, is not satisfy enough, so intensive health educational programs are required and included in the curriculum of the faculties.
The authors are very grateful to the students of the University of Kassala who cooperatively participated in the study.