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Knowledge of HIV/AIDS and HIV testing among the high risk groups (HRGs) population

Bhavna Puwar, Vaibhavi Patel, Sheetal Vyas.

Background: Several factors put India in danger of experiencing rapid spread of HIV if effective prevention and control measures are not scaled up throughout the country.

Aims & Objective: (1) To assess the level of basic knowledge about HIV/AIDS among the study population; (2) To analyze the HIV testing among them.

Material and Methods: It was a cross sectional study carried out during April –May, 2010 amongst 3125 subjects of high risk groups (HRGs) comprising of IDUs (Injectable Drug Users), Female Sex workers (FSWs), MSMs (Male having Sex with Males) and Single Male Migrants (SMMs) covered by 13 Targeted Interventions (TIs) of Ahmedabad city. Ten percent of registered HRGs were assessed by systematic sampling. Data was analyzed using Epi info version 3.5.1.

Results: Mean age of HRGs was 28.69 years and about half of HRGs were educated up to primary standard. More than half of them were married.85% HRGs had heard of HIV and 51% correctly knew what HIV positive means. Knowledge about AIDS was 76% and understanding of AIDS was 66% among them .About 38% HRGs knew that HIV is infectious and 72.8% knew that HIV is incurable. About 65% HRGs knew that there is no effective vaccine for HIV. About 65% HRGs had been tested ever tested and in last 6 months about 52.2% of HRGs were tested for HIV. Age and education were statistically significantly associated with the knowledge about incurability of HIV, non-existence of vaccine, and ever testing of HIV and in last six months also with disclosure of HIV positive status. Additionally age was also statistically significantly associated with infectious nature of HIV.

Conclusion: Young and literate HRGs are better aware about the disease and are more concerned about their HIV
status. They are also more open about disclosing their HIV/AIDS status.

Key words: High Risk Groups (HRGs); Male having Sex with Males (MSMs); HIV/AIDS

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