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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 26-30

Knowledge, awareness, and behavior study on HIV/AIDS among engineering students in and around Guntur, South India


Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, SIBAR Institute of Dental Sciences, Takkellapadu, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India

Date of Web Publication22-Mar-2018

Correspondence Address:
Dr. S Deepika Chowdary
Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, SIBAR Institute of Dental Sciences, Takkellapadu, Guntur - - 522 509, Andhra Pradesh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/JDRNTRUHS.JDRNTRUHS_110_16

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  Abstract 


Background: Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is one of the important contagion issues in the world. It poses serious challenges not only to health professionals but professionals across industries. In India, in general, studies on HIV are carried out among medical and paramedical students and least among non- medical students, whose awareness is of prime importance.
Aim: This study was designed to assess the knowledge, attitude, and behavior regarding HIV/AIDS among engineering students in and around Guntur, Andhra Pradesh.
Patients and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 400 engineering college students in and around Guntur. A self-administered questionnaire was given and the results were tabulated and analyzed.
Statistical Analysis Used: The data was entered in excel sheet and analyzed using SPSS v. 20.0 software. Data was analyzed using student's t-test and Chi-square test.
Results: Out of 400 students, 257 (64.2%) were males and 143 (35.7%) were females. Maximum students (97.2%) indicated they know about HIV/AIDS. Eighty-nine percent (89.7%) of the students responded that needle prick injury can transmit HIV infection, whereas 82.5% of the responders knew that HIV/AIDS affects immune systems. A total of 66.5% of individuals agreed that there is no cure for HIV/AIDS and 72.0% of individuals responded that HIV/AIDS cannot be transmitted through saliva and 20.5% of the students felt that it is necessary to isolate the infected individuals from general public.
Conclusions: In addition to medical and para medical students, it is very important for the youth to be aware of HIV/AIDS and its social implications.

Keywords: AIDS, attitude, engineering students, HIV, knowledge, questionnaire


How to cite this article:
Chowdary S D, Dasari N, Chitipothu DM, Chitturi RT, Chandra K L, Reddy BV. Knowledge, awareness, and behavior study on HIV/AIDS among engineering students in and around Guntur, South India. J NTR Univ Health Sci 2018;7:26-30

How to cite this URL:
Chowdary S D, Dasari N, Chitipothu DM, Chitturi RT, Chandra K L, Reddy BV. Knowledge, awareness, and behavior study on HIV/AIDS among engineering students in and around Guntur, South India. J NTR Univ Health Sci [serial online] 2018 [cited 2020 Mar 29];7:26-30. Available from: http://www.jdrntruhs.org/text.asp?2018/7/1/26/228142




  Introduction Top


Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is one of the important contagion issues in the world. It poses serious challenges not only to health professionals but other professionals across industries. It manifests as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in human beings. AIDS was first identified in India in 1981, since then it is considered as a serious condition and has the highest mortality and morbidity rate.[1] According to UNAIDS 2015 report, the total number of people living with HIV/AIDS are 36.9 million out of which 34.3 million are adults and 2.6 million are less than 15 years. Studies indicated that 4 million HIV-infected people are living in India.[2],[3] HIV epidemic in India is grabbing specific attention among elevated risk groups, because of its heterogeneity in its allocation. According to HIV Sentinel Surveillance (HSS) 2012- 2013, the overall HIV occurrence among antenatal clinic attenders continued to be less than 0.35% in the country. Highest prevalence was recorded in Nagaland (0.88%) followed by Andhra Pradesh (0.59%).[4]

According to the World Health Organization, young adolescents are at a higher risk of exposure to HIV/AIDS.[5] In India, approximately 22% of the population are adolescents. Younger age group between 15–20 years, with various behavioral as well as physiological changes are more vulnerable for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as HIV/AIDS. This is because of lack of sex education and preventive measures.[6]

In Indian society, most parents hesitate discussing any sexual issues with their children and young adulthood revolve to contemptible medium and get imprecise information. Hence, we have to lay the foundation for proper lifestyle, safe sexual habits, as well as healthy relationship.[7] Literature suggests that a better knowledge, attitude, and behavior towards HIV/AIDS among public and college students is important for a better and healthy society. We found that most studies in India were done on medical and paramedical students and none among non-medical students, among whom the general awareness about this dreadful disease is important. With this background, the present study was designed to assess the knowledge, attitude, and behavior regarding HIV/AIDS among engineering students in and around Guntur, Andhra Pradesh.


  Patients and Methods Top


A cross-sectional study was conducted among engineering college students in and around Guntur. Permission was obtained from college authorities before starting the study. A total of 400 students belonging to age group 19 to 23 were included in the study.

A self-administered questionnaire [Table 1] was used for data collection. After explanation, the questionnaire was distributed among all students and they were requested to write the answers. The questionnaire comprised 14 questions including the mode of transmission, diagnostic approaches to rule out HIV/AIDS, attitude towards people living with HIV/AIDS. After completion, the questionnaire was collected back for analysis. The data was entered in excel sheet and analyzed using SPSS v. 20.0 software. Data was analyzed using student's t-test and Chi-square test.
Table 1: Questionnaire

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  Results Top


Study consisted of 400 students from each year (I year to IV year). Out of 400 students, 257 (64.2%) were males and 143 (35.7%) were females and the distribution of males and females in each year has been listed in [Table 2].
Table 2: Distribution of male and female by year of study

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Question-wise responses of the engineering students were as follows. Maximum students (97.2%) indicated they know about HIV/AIDS. Eighty-nine percent (89.7%) of the students responded that needle prick injury can transmit HIV infection, whereas 82.5% of the responders knew that HIV/AIDS affects immune systems. A total of 64.0% of students updated themselves on latest infection control procedures of diseases including HIV/AIDS and 61.2% of the individuals thought that multiple sexual contacts with unaffected persons can cause HIV. A total of 66.5% of individuals agreed that there is no cure for HIV/AIDS and 72% of individuals responded that HIV/AIDS cannot be transmitted through saliva. A total of 73.2% of students said that physical status of HIV/AIDS affected individuals cannot be identified and 20.5% of the students felt that it is necessary to isolate the infected individuals from general public. Around 93.2% of students did not agree for the immediate death of a person soon after HIV/AIDS infection. [Table 3] and 71.0% of the students responded that books, media, newspaper, and the Internet helped them in gaining knowledge on HIV/AIDS [Table 4]. A total of 91.5% of the responders said that HIV/AIDS transmits through sexual contact, blood transfusion, and needle prick injury [Table 5]. Around 70.0% of students responded that the diagnostic test for HIV/AIDS is Tridot/ELISA and only 30.0% of the students said that Western blot is one of the diagnostic tests for HIV/AIDS [Table 6].
Table 3: Response to questionnaire by the students

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Table 4: Source of knowledge on HIV/AIDS

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Table 5: Mode of transmission of HIV/AIDS

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Table 6: Diagnostic tests for HIV/AIDS

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  Discussion Top


In our study, we observed that majority of the students (97.2%) have appreciable knowledge about HIV/AIDS. This knowledge of engineering students is higher compared to junior college and secondary school students as observed from studies in India.[8] This result is also slightly higher than the knowledge of freshmen students in Afghanistan.[9] Interestingly, it was slightly less compared to students in Africa, continent that has the highest prevalence of AIDS followed by Asia, which might be the reason for their increased knowledge on AIDS. Observation in our study was that majority of students (71%) obtained knowledge on AIDS through books, media, news or the Internet that is comparable to the results obtained in other studies. Our study suggested that books (21%) are the major sources of information, whereas mass media and Internet were the major sources of information in other studies.[10],[11] The general awareness on HIV/AIDS transmission is appreciable in our study.

Most of the respondents (91.5%) knew that sexual contact and blood transfusion transmit HIV/AIDS, 4.25% and 3.75% of individuals thought that HIV/AIDS can be transmitted only through blood transfusion and sexual contact, respectively. Although this is less than the results obtained in other studies, the knowledge regarding modes of transmission of AIDS is quite high [10],[12]. With regard to the specific question on needle prick injury and HIV/AIDS, 89.7% of individuals responded in a positive manner. This is to be considered because the risk of exposure to HIV through needle prick injury is less than 0.3%.[13] Another specific question in relation to spread of HIV/AIDS by saliva yielded interesting results: One-third (29%) of the students thought that HIV/AIDS is transmitted through saliva and it is known from the studies that oral sex has lower risk of transmission of viruses, in particular the HIV, which is even low.[14] A total of 61.2% of students thought that multiple sexual contacts with unaffected individuals cause HIV/AIDS. From these results, it can be interpreted that most of the students are well aware of the routes of HIV/AIDS transmission, but there are few misconceptions regarding the risk of spreading through needle prick injury and saliva and also lack of knowledge regarding the spread virus from uninfected individuals.

Knowledge regarding the general clinical aspects of HIV/AIDS is appreciable among these students. A total of 82.5% of the students knew that HIV/AIDS majorly affects the immune system of the individual and 93.2% of the students knew that a person will not die immediately after being infected by HIV. Interestingly, 33.5% of the students thought that HIV/AIDS is curable and 73.5% individuals said that they cannot identify a person affected with HIV/AIDS by physical appearance. We did not find any studies in relation to the questions about general clinical features of HIV/AIDS affected individuals among non-medical students. Though the general knowledge on features of HIV/AIDS was good, it is noteworthy that students need to be delivered knowledge on available treatment options for AIDS such as Antiretroviral therapy (ART) and Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), although not completely curable but can improve the life span of infected individuals.[2]

Finally, when attitude of students towards HIV/AIDS- affected individuals is tested we found that 20.5% of the students felt that it is necessary to isolate the infected individuals. These results are comparable to few studies done across the world.[15],[16]


  Conclusion Top


In our cross-sectional survey among engineering students in Guntur, overall awareness on HIV and its mode of transmission were high. In spite of this, some knowledge regarding the mode of transmission, treatment available for such individuals, and attitude towards infected individuals need to be improved. Therefore, through our study we call for continued and strengthened health education to bring change in knowledge and common misconceptions on HIV and promote a positive attitude among non-medical students and also bring necessary behavioral changes among the students in and around Guntur.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Greenberg AE, Drotman DP, Curran JW, Janssen RS. The Epidemiology and Prevention of Human immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). In: Wallace RB, Kohatsu N, editors. Wallace/Maxcy- Rosenau-Last, Text book of public health and preventive medicine. 15th ed. Seattle: Mc Graw Hill; 2007. p. 189.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Rao KE, Chitturi RT, Kattappagari KK, Kantheti LP, Poosarla C, Baddam VR. Impact of highly active antiretroviral therapy on oral manifestations of patients with human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immuno deficiency syndrome in South India. Indian J Sex Transm Dis 2015;36:35-9.  Back to cited text no. 2
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
3.
UNAIDS Interagency Task Team on Young People (2004) At the Crossroads: Accelerating Youth Access to HIV/AIDS Interventions UNAIDS. New York. Available: https://www.unfpa.org/sites/default/files/pub-pdf/UNFPA_Crossroads.pdf. [Last accessed on 2016 Mar 21].  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Department of AIDS control. Ministry of health & Family Welfare, Government of India. Annual report 2013-14. Available from http://www.naco.gov.in/upload/2014%20mslns/NACO_English%202013-14.pdf. [Last accessed on 2016 Mar 21].  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
World Health Organization. Dehne KL, Riedner G. Sexually Transmitted Infections Among Adolescents: The Need For Adequate Health Services. World Health Organization And Deutsche Gesellschaft Fuer Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) Gmbh. Geneva: 2005. p. xi-2.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
UNESCO. Case studies. STDs/HIV/AIDS (India), 2003. Available from: http://www.unescobkk.org/ips/arh-web/demographics/india2.cfm. [Last accessed on 2016 Mar 21].  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Premkumar B, Gayathri T, Ravichandran S. HIV/AIDS Awareness, Attitude and Perception among School, College Students and Hospital Workers. Indian Journal of Pharmacy Practice 2013;6:42-8.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Rajamouli J, Reddy BC, Rao AR, Rao KM. To assess the knowledge regarding HIV/AIDS among secondary school and junior college students in khammam town of Andhra Pradesh. Int J Res Health Sci 2014;2:511-6.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Mansoor AB, Fungladda W, Kaewkungwal J, Wongwit W. Gender Differences In Kap Related To HIV/AIDS Among Freshmen In Afghan Universities. Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health 2008;39:404-18.  Back to cited text no. 9
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Oppong Asante K, Oti-Boadi M. HIV/AIDS knowledge among undergraduate university students: Implications for health education programs in Ghana. Afr Health Sci 2013;13:270-7.  Back to cited text no. 10
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Abiodun O, Sotunsa J, Ani F, Jaiyesimi E. Knowledge of HIV/AIDS and predictors of uptake of HIV counseling and testing among undergraduate students of a privately owned university in Nigeria. BMC Res Notes 2014;7:639.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
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Reddy P, Frantz J. HIV/AIDS knowledge, behaviour and beliefs among South African university students. Sahara J 2011;8:166-70.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
13.
Department of Health HIV post-exposure prophylaxis: Guidance from the UK Chief Medical Officers' Expert Advisory Group on AIDS. London, 2008. Avaliable from: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/203139/HIV_post-exposure_prophylaxis.pdf. [Last accessed on 2016 Mar 21].  Back to cited text no. 13
    
14.
Campo J, Perea MA, del Romero J, Cano J, Hernando V, Bascones A. Oral transmission of HIV, reality or fiction? An update. Oral Dis 2006;12:219-28.  Back to cited text no. 14
    
15.
Tan X, Pan J, Zhou D, Wang C, Xie C. HIV/AIDS knowledge, attitudes and behaviors assessment of Chinese students: A questionnaire study. Int J Environ Res Public Health 2007;4:248-53.  Back to cited text no. 15
    
16.
Shiferaw Y, Alemu A, Girma A, Getahun A, Kassa A, Gashaw A, et al. Assessment of knowledge, attitude and risk behaviors towards HIV/AIDS and other sexual transmitted infection among preparatory students of Gondar town, north west Ethiopia. BMC Res Notes 2011;4:505.  Back to cited text no. 16
    



 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5], [Table 6]



 

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