Knowledge, Attitude and Beliefs of College Students in Baghdad and Mousel / Iraq about AIDS


The problem of AIDS is being increasingly recognized in the Middle East, and as the disease is fatal and incurable it is important to spread health education messages about prevention and control of the disease which depends mainly on knowledge of mode of transmission of the infectious agent and how to prevent it.Aim: This study aims to identify the level of college students' knowledge and attitudes about the disease and to find out some of their beliefs about it.Methods: this is a cross sectional survey conducted in Baghdad and Mousel among College students as a representative of the educated young adult, males and females. The study sample included 594 students from the 2nd, third and 4th year. Questions included knowledge about transmission of the disease, and the way to prevent its occurrence, and their beliefs about the most risky group to be infected with that disease and what is their attitude towards infected people. Results: rate for correct response on 70% of questions about knowledge of mode of transmission of the disease was 42.4%. Knowledge of transmission by shared drug injection was 83.3%, by blood 94.4% and by sex 97.3%. As for prevention, 48.5% answered correctly for more than 75% of questions. 97.6% knew that it is prevented by avoiding illegitimate sex, 97.1% said by examination of donated blood and 92.4% said by using disposable syringes. The students believed that the risky group to be infected is women of infected person (82.8%), men who have illegitimate sex (94.9%) and medical and health personnel (62.9%). As for the attitude towards infected people 71.5% of respondents accepted within the community without being isolated in especial places. The source of the students' knowledge was from TV and private readings.