Author(s): AlMazrou YY, Abouzeid MS, AlJeffri MH
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Abstract OBJECTIVES: The present study aimed to build a baseline profile for knowledge and attitudes of Saudi paramedical students toward human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS). METHODS: The study was a cross-sectional one conducted on a sample selected from health institutes and colleges in Saudi Arabia during the calendar year 2002/2003. RESULTS: A high percentage of students correctly perceive the risk presented by HIV/AIDS. Extramarital sex and unprotected sex were the most frequently mentioned risky behaviors. Misconceptions and lack of knowledge regarding transmission of HIV/AIDS were reported. Lack of knowledge on the means of individual protection, means of protection of infants of HIV/AIDS-infected mothers and means of protection of HIV/AIDS-infected individual's wife was observed. While friends were the main source of information among male students, booklets were the main source of information among females. More than two-thirds of students were willing to be tested for HIV. We observed negative attitudes toward discussing AIDS topics with others, home-care for HIV/AIDS individuals and HIV/AIDS-infected individual's right at work. CONCLUSION: We found lack of knowledge regarding HIV/AIDS transmission and means for prevention in addition to unfavorable attitudes towards HIV/AIDS individuals. We recommend an evaluation of HIV/AIDS information in the curricula of health institutes and health colleges in addition to conduction of a nationwide health education campaign on HIV/AIDS.
This article was published in Saudi Med J
and referenced in Journal of AIDS & Clinical Research