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A study of awareness about human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome among first-year MBBS students of KBNIMS, Gulbarga

Shilpa Naganna, Veena H Chandregowda.

Background: Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is characterized by reduction in a number of T-helper cells, because of infection by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). HIV affects the immune system and, therefore, prone to various infectious diseases and its complications and also cancer. Treatment is available to delay the death of persons suffering from the disease. There is no cure for HIV/AIDS. Therefore, it is very essential to educate young people so that they can protect themselves from getting infected. Assessment of awareness level in adolescents, on the other hand, is equally important, to determine the impact of previous awareness and prevention efforts.

Aims and Objectives: To know the level of knowledge regarding HIV/AIDS among the first-year MBBS students and to enhance the future educative programs.

Materials and Methods: This is a cross-sectional study to be conducted on 100 MBBS students in the age group of 18-20 years in KBNIMS, Gulbarga. Questionnaires were provided to the students. Total 14 multiple choice questions were included in the lists which were based on the knowledge and prevention regarding HIV/AIDS.

Results: Statistical analysis was performed using frequency and percentage. Majority of the students were aware about HIV/AIDS, and its transmission. Majority of students (83%) were aware that once infected with HIV, there is no cure and 54% of students were aware that HIV is a contagious disease. 58% of students also knew that HIV/AIDS is transmitted through tattooing. 17% had misconception that HIV/AIDS is transmitted through mosquito bite, by hugging, kissing (5%), through urine (12%), by sharing of towels of infected person (5%), by sharing of toilet seats (6%), by haircut (11%), and by sharing clothes of infected person (2%).

Conclusion: The awareness and knowledge regarding HIV/AIDS in young age group help to design future educative programs and conducting such surveys at regular intervals would further help to assess the level of awareness and attitude toward HIV/AIDS.

Key words: Human Immunodeficiency Virus; Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome; Awareness; Knowledge; Medical Students

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