Author(s): Mahat G, Scoloveno MA
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Abstract AIM: This paper reports an exploration of Nepalese adolescents' knowledge, attitudes and beliefs of HIV/AIDS. BACKGROUND: Nepal is confronted with an increasing incidence of HIV/AIDS among adolescents and young adults. A priority of nurses and other health professionals in Nepal is the prevention of the spread of HIV infection. The first step in prevention is assessing the HIV/AIDS knowledge, attitudes and beliefs of adolescents. METHODS: A cross-sectional correlational design was carried out in 2003 in a private school in Kathmandu, Nepal. A total of 150 adolescents participated in the study. Two instruments were used: a demographic questionnaire and the Youth Survey, which included questions on knowledge, attitudes and beliefs. FINDINGS: The majority of the adolescents had a moderate level of overall HIV/AIDS knowledge, but lacked knowledge in the areas of mode of transmission and prevention of HIV/AIDS. Approximately 79\% thought that AIDS was a big problem and 67\% were afraid of getting AIDS. However, only 16.7\% reported that they were likely to get AIDS, and 18.7\% did not perceive living in Kathmandu as a risk for HIV/AIDS. CONCLUSION: The findings of this study will help policymakers and healthcare professionals develop a culturally sensitive and needs specific educational programme for urban Nepalese adolescents. The findings may also have lessons for public health and school nurses working in similar contexts. Nurses, and more specifically public health nurses in Nepal, need to play an active role in the development and implementation of educational programs on HIV/AIDS. Research needs to be done in rural as well as urban areas of Nepal on adolescents' HIV/AIDS knowledge, attitudes and beliefs.
This article was published in J Adv Nurs
and referenced in Journal of AIDS & Clinical Research