International Journal of Medical Research & Health Sciences (IJMRHS)
ISSN: 2319-5886 Indexed in: ESCI (Thomson Reuters)

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HIV/AIDS and Its Prevention: A Cross-sectional Study to Evaluate Knowledge, Awareness, and Attitude among Medical Students

Author(s):Mohan B Sannathimmappa and Vinod Nambiar

Background and Objective: HIV and AIDS is a major global health problem. The lack of knowledge and misconceptions about its modes of transmission among the public, medical students, and healthcare professionals is accountable for the rapid spread of HIV, social stigmatization and discrimination of HIV infected patients. This study aimed to evaluate the knowledge and awareness about HIV and AIDS and also to know the attitude of medical students towards HIV and AIDS patients. Materials and methods: A total of 117 medical students of the 5th year participated voluntarily in this descriptive cross-sectional study. The data was collected in a pretested questionnaire, tabulated and analyzed in Microsoft Excel and SPSS software version 22. The quantitative data were expressed in terms of numbers and percentages. Results: The knowledge among students about HIV is satisfactory. All students (100%) were aware of HIV and AIDS, and its causative agent. The majority of students were aware of modes of transmission, diagnostic tests, and major preventive measures. However, only a few students were aware of the availability of anti-retroviral drugs for treating HIV, few had an erroneous belief that HIV is curable and vaccine-preventable. The study also observed misconceptions among students (12-40%) about spreading of HIV such as by mosquito bite, handshaking, sharing toilets, utensils, and food. Conclusion: From the results of our study, it is suggested that there is a need for an implementation of HIV and AIDS training programs at regular intervals to medical students at the beginning of their inception into a medical course. This would reduce the knowledge, attitude, and practice gap among medical students.

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