Cross-sectional population-based study of knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding HIV/AIDS in Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka, India

Anand D. Meundi, Ambikadevi Amma, Aruna Rao, Sangeetha Shetty, Avinash K. Shetty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To assess HIV/AIDS-related knowledge, attitudes, and practices among the general population in South India. Methods: The 1669 participants (834 males, 835 females) aged 19-49 years were surveyed using a stratified 2-stage random sampling design with probability proportional to size. Results: Although 54% of participants knew that AIDS is caused by "HIV" virus and 44% could correctly identify all modes of transmission, 52% believed in one or more myths, 41% did not know that condoms can prevent HIV, and 18% had not heard of a condom. Higher HIV knowledge scores were significantly associated with male gender, higher education, currently married, higher frequency of reading newspapers, listening to radio or watching television, and willingness to get tested for HIV (P <.01). Thirty-four percent felt that HIV-infected individuals should be kept away from others, and 40% were not willing to accept a family member with HIV. There was a significant and positive correlation between knowledge and attitude scores (P < .01). Among respondents who ever had sexual intercourse, significantly more males declared having more than one sexual partner compared to females ( P <.01). Only16% of respondents reported that they consistently used condoms. Sixty-two percent of the respondents were willing to undergo an HIV test if provided free of cost. This willingness to opt for HIV testing increased significantly with better knowledge score, better attitude score, and higher education status (P <.01). Conclusions: HIV/AIDS prevention campaigns in India should focus on public education, stigma reduction, promotion of condom use, and risk-reduction behaviors in urban and rural communities targeted toward young adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-34
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01-01-2008
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology
  • Dermatology
  • Infectious Diseases

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