INTRODUCTION:Human Immunodeficiency virus infection (HIV) and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) has become one of the most serious health problems in the world. Medical students awareness, attitudes and opinions must be assessed as they are leading health care professionals who provide treatment and care to the HIV and AIDS individuals. This survey was conducted to assess the level of awareness, attitudes and opinions of third year till fifth year medical students concerning HIV and AIDS from universities around Klang Valley area, Malaysia.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:A total of 327 medical students of third to fifth been took part in the survey. Self prepared and self validated questionnaire was used to assess the study outcomes. Students were asked to fill the consent forms before filling the questionnaires. The results were analyzed by using SPSS version 17. A cross-sectional study among medical students was performed. Data was analyzed with non-parametric spearman's correlation test to find the difference at p-value < 0.05.
RESULTS: A great majority knew that HIV can be spread via tattoo or body piercing (89.3%), from mother to child (97.9%), being a homosexual (93.3%) and even having circumcision for protection (71.9%). Also, they were aware that HIV cannot be transferred via sneezing and cough (95.1%), swimming pools (89.0%), and toilet seats (89.6%). However, only a few were aware of other modes of transmission, such as visiting the barbers (41.3%) , and having blood splashed on outer body surface including mouth and eyes (49.2%). Only a few negative attitudes were shown such as being unsure about keeping close vicinity to HIV patients and being unsure of whether HIV negative people should be allowed to marry HIV positive patients (median=3).
CONCLUSION: An optimal plan of education with awareness campaign and preclinical experiences should be made in the future curriculum to increase the knowledge, confidence and minimize phobia among students.
KEYWORDS: Cross-sectional study; Prevention; Transmission
Study site: Two universities in Klang Valley, Malaysia
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.