Author(s): AlJabri AA, AlAbri JH
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To investigate the knowledge, attitudes and beliefs of Omani medical and non-medical students in Sultan Qaboos University (SQU), toward acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). METHODS: A structured questionnaire of 40 different statements concerning basic knowledge of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), its modes of transmission, diagnosis, risk behaviors, prevention, treatment, beliefs as well as attitudes towards AIDS patients were distributed to 200 students (109 females and 91 males). One hundred and sixteen were pre-clinical students and 84 were non-medical students. This study was carried out during the period October 2001 through to June 2002. RESULTS: Most of the students (94\%) were aware that HIV is a life-long infection and 93\% think that it is preventable. No available vaccine is appreciated by medical more than the non-medical students. However, 46\% of students believed that donating blood could lead to transmission of HIV. Students or colleagues with the HIV infection attending the same classroom and working place were accepted by 55\% of medical and 53\% of non-medical students. However, most students (65.4\%) did hesitate to take care of an AIDS patient. CONCLUSION: Although most students showed reasonable knowledge regarding transmission, risk behaviors and prevention, misconceptions regarding the attitudes reflects a false perception of the disease among those students. This calls for well-structured health education programs stressing on such misconceptions.
This article was published in Saudi Med J
and referenced in Journal of AIDS & Clinical Research