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|Title:||Knowledge and attitude of college students in Kerala towards HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases and sexuality.|
|Publisher:||The National Medical Journal of India|
|Citation:||Natl Med J India. 13;5;231-6.|
|Abstract:||BACKGROUND: Knowledge about the spread of HIV and safe sexual practices has a critical impact on the prevention of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). We assessed the knowledge of and attitude towards AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and sexuality among college students in Thiruvananthapuram district, Kerala. METHODS: We performed a community-based, cross-sectional survey of 625 randomly selected undergraduate college students (164 boys, 461 girls, age 18-22 years). We administered a pretested, structured questionnaire to assess the knowledge and attitude of the students towards AIDS, STDs and sexuality. We generated knowledge and attitude scores from the student responses, and used multivariable linear regression to study the association of these scores with select predictor variables (notably gender and place of residence). RESULTS: All the students in our sample had heard about AIDS. However, only 45% knew that AIDS is not curable at present. Only 34% were aware of the symptoms of STDs, and 47% knew that STDs are associated with an increased risk of AIDS. In multivariable analyses, male students (p < 0.001), and urban residents (p = 0.006) demonstrated a higher knowledge of AIDS and STDs. Students from urban areas (p = 0.014) and those practising the Christian religion (p = 0.042) demonstrated more favourable attitudes towards AIDS. CONCLUSIONS: Our study identified substantial lacunae in the knowledge of and attitude towards AIDS, STDs and sexuality among college students in Kerala. The gap in knowledge between boys and girls, and between rural and urban students suggests the need for targeting girls and rural areas in the national AIDS education and awareness campaigns.|
|Appears in Collections:||Journal Articles|
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