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An Analytical Comparison of Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices Regarding HIV/AIDS Among Medical and Non-Medical Students in Iran

Authors Pourjam R, Rahimi Khalifeh Kandi Z, Estebsari F, Karimi Yeganeh F, Safari M, Barati M, Mostafaei D

Received 18 December 2019

Accepted for publication 1 April 2020

Published 28 April 2020 Volume 2020:12 Pages 165—173

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/HIV.S242784

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Bassel Sawaya


Reyhaneh Pourjam,1 Zahra Rahimi Khalifeh Kandi,2 Fatemeh Estebsari,3 Farank Karimi Yeganeh,4 Mehdi Safari,5 Mohadaseh Barati,6 Davoud Mostafaei7

1Student Research Committee, Department of Midwifery and Reproductive Health, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; 2Department of Health Education, School of Public Health, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; 3Department of Community Health Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; 4Master of Science in Demography, Azna Health Network, Lorestan University of Medical Sciences, Lorestan, Iran; 5Department of Medical Surgical Nursing, Education and Emergencies, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; 6Student Research Committee, Department of Medical Surgical Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; 7Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Correspondence: Fatemeh Estebsari
Department of Community Health Nursing, School of Nursing & Midwifery, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Tel +98 2188655367 ext. 330
Fax +98 2188202518
Email fa_estebsari@yahoo.com

Background and Objectives: Young people are the main group at risk of HIV/AIDS due to factors such as curiosity, peer pressure, lack of knowledge and skills, unsafe sexual behaviors, and drug abuse. The present study was conducted to compare the knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding HIV/AIDS among medical and non-medical students in Iran.
Methods: This cross-sectional descriptive-analytical study was conducted on a population consisting of the students of Shahid Beheshti University (SBU) and Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences (SBMU). A total of 303 students were randomly selected from the two universities. Data were collected using a researcher-made HIV/AIDS knowledge, attitude, and practice questionnaire. Data were then analyzed using the independent t-test, Mann–Whitney’s U-test, the ANOVA, and the Kruskal–Wallis test in SPSS-18. P< 0.05 was set as the level of significance for all the tests.
Findings: The frequencies of marital status, education, smoking, alcohol and psychotropic substance use, employment status, and source of information differed significantly between the medical and non-medical students. There was a significant difference between the two groups regarding knowledge (P< 0.001) and practice (P=0.019) regarding HIV/AIDS. Meanwhile, there was no significant difference between the two groups in terms of their attitude toward HIV/AIDS (P=0.503). The results of the ANOVA revealed a significant correlation between marital status and practice (P=0.022), education and attitude (P=0.004), and smoking and knowledge (P=0.008) among the medical students. Meanwhile, there was no significant difference between the demographic variables and knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding HIV/AIDS among the non-medical students (P> 0.005).
Conclusion: The present findings showed that designing and developing appropriate educational programs, offered through group media, scientific seminars, courses, lectures, and group discussions, can be effective in enhancing the students’ knowledge and changing their attitudes and should be incorporated into healthcare programs.

Keywords: knowledge, attitude, practice, students, HIV/AIDS

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