AIDS knowledge and attitudes in a Turkish population: an epidemiological study

Ayranci, Unal
January 2005
BMC Public Health;2005, Vol. 5 Issue 1, p95
Academic Journal
Background: The aim of this study was to investigate and present some pertinent comments concerning Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) knowledge, attitudes and misconceptions among the general population in a city of west Turkey. This study was deemed important and relevant due to the increasing importance of AIDS in Turkey and the other countries. Methods: Using a multistage area sampling method, a random sample of individuals aged 11-83 years, living in 65 different quarters in the city of Eskisehir, Turkey during September, October and November 2004 were interviewed. Results: In all, 1048 respondents completed the survey. In most items, respondents displayed a fairly good to excellent degree of knowledge about HIV/AIDS. Individuals with higher degrees of education indicated more correct responses in all items relating to knowledge of HIV/AIDS. In general, the respondents' attitudes towards AIDS and people with AIDS were found to be tolerant and positive, with one answer choice showing that the majority of the respondents agreed with the statement that those with HIV/AIDS must be supported, treated and helped (90.7%). Moreover, the proportions of the respondents' misconceptions were found to be significantly low for all the items. However, nearly one fourth of the respondents agreed with the misconceptions 'AIDS is a punishment by God' and 'One is not infected with HIV/AIDS if engaged in sport and well nourished'. Conclusion: In general HIV/AIDS related knowledge was high and people showed positive attitudes. However, people continue to hold misconceptions about AIDS and these need to be addressed by health education programs targeting those at higher risk.


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