Knowledge about HIV infection, transmission, diagnostic methods and its treatment among the students of a nursing and a Physiotherapy Colleges in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, India

BL Bamboriya, Yogyata Marothi, Meha Rawat, Megha Sharma


Background: Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) impairs the host's immune system until it reaches the terminal stage; Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). India has the third largest HIV epidemic in the world. Although healthcare workers (HCWs) can play a crucial role in prevention and control of HIV/AIDS, least attention is given to assess their knowledge and attitude on the topic.

Methods: A prospective, cross sectional study was conducted (January 2014 and April 2015) to assess the knowledge of HIV/AIDS among students of a nursing and a physiotherapy college in Ujjain district of central India. All enrolled students were invited to participate, of those 98% participated voluntarily (nursing-120/120 and physiotherapy-56/60).

Results: More than half of the participants were not aware that HIV is an infection causing virus and AIDS is a spectrum of conditions or a syndrome. The majority of the participants had poor knowledge about the available diagnostic tests and curative treatment of the infection. The study also reflected the participant’s belief in common myths and misconceptions. Physical contacts with intact skin during patient care and social interaction with a person living with HIV were considered as risk factors for infection transmission. More than 60% participants admitted for their inadequate knowledge and majority (>90%) were willing to participate in a training workshop on the topic.

Conclusions: Extremely poor knowledge about the infection’s epidemiology, mode of transmission, diagnostics among the future HCWs might be a rick for discrimination. Discrimination-free healthcare, a prerequisite to end the epidemic, could be achieved by addressing the myths and misconceptions among the future and present HCWs.


Central India, HIV/AIDS epidemiology, Knowledge assessment of healthcare students, Nursing and physiotherapy curriculum, Transmission of HIV infection

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