University Students' Knowledge and Attitude toward HIV/AIDS in Qatar
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Introduction HIV/AIDS is one of the most complex health problems of the 21st century and has become a pandemic disease that threatens the world population. Young people are particularly vulnerable to the HIV, worldwide over half of all new infections are among young people. The primary prevention to control the spread of HIV infection through awareness and changing behavior remains at the highest priority for HIV/AIDS control. Objectives The aim of the study was to assess the knowledge and attitude among university students in Qatar towards HIV/AIDS and its preventive measures, and to identify the most preferred source of obtaining HIV related information among university students in Qatar. Methodology The study was a cross-sectional study based on a self-answered anonymous questionnaire conducted in governmental and non-governmental universities in Qatar during the calendar year 2008-2009 among 781 students selected randomly. The questionnaire addressed basic knowledge about human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), its modes of transmission, prevention, and attitudes towards HIV/AIDS. SPSS software 17.0 was used for data entry and analysis. Appropriate tests of significance were used and ethical considerations were followed throughout the study. Results The response rate was 84%. Most of the students (97.6%) were aware that HIV is a serious disease, despite the majority of university students correctly identifying the main modes of HIV/AIDS transmission such as sexual intercourse (95.8%), Sharing injection needle or surgical operation devices of an infected person (94.9%), but Some prominent known information such as mosquito bites (62.1%), public toilets and swimming pools (53%), and sharing food utensils of an infected person (50.1) were incorrectly identified as routes of transmission .More than 86% of the students had the attitude that HIV testing should be conducted compulsory before marriage through premarital counseling, support the awareness campaign toward preventing spread of HIV among your colleges inside or outside college. Their main source of information about the infection was the media, particularly TV. The results indicated that the contribution of schools, health staff and relatives in providing university students with knowledge about HIV/AIDS was minimal. Statistical significant differences in the students' level of knowledge and attitudes appear in relation with students' gender ,where more males students had knowledge about HIV/AIDS. Conclusion and Recommendation Lack of knowledge regarding HIV/AIDS transmission among university students with most of them was detected having positive attitudes toward HIV/AIDS preventive measures. Consequently establishing well-structured health education programs addressing misconceptions about the routes of transmission of HIV.
- Health Sciences-CAS (pre 2016) [122 items ]