Indian J Sex Transm Dis Indian J Sex Transm Dis
Official Publication of the Indian Association for the Study of Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Indian J Sex Transm Dis
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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 37  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 173-177

Knowledge, attitude, and perception of disease among persons living with human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immuno deficiency syndrome: A study from a tertiary care center in North India

Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprosy, Dr. R. P. Government Medical College, Kangra (Tanda), Himachal Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Vikram K Mahajan
Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprosy, Dr. R. P. Government Medical College, Kangra (Tanda) - 176 001, Himachal Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0253-7184.185500

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Background: Although modification of behavioral practices among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-affected patients is important in decreasing HIV disease transmission, the knowledge, attitude, and perception studies about HIV infection rarely include persons living with HIV/acquired immuno deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Aims: To assess knowledge, attitude, and perceptions of persons living with HIV/AIDS for the disease and other epidemiological aspects. Materials and Methods: One-hundred and fifty consecutive persons living with HIV/AIDS were enrolled for this questionnaire-based cross-sectional, descriptive study. Results: These 150 patients comprised 93 men and 57 women, aged between 14 and 78 (mean 37.13) years. The majority, 112 (74.67%) patients were between 20 and 50 years of age and 116 (77.3%) patients were either illiterate or high-school dropouts. Drivers, laborers, and self-employed comprised 69 (74.2%) patients among affected males. Only 129 (86%) respondents had heard about HIV/AIDS and knew about its heterosexual transmission. Ninety-eight (65.3%) respondents were aware of disease transmission from infected blood or needle pricks. Interestingly, 106 (70.7%) respondents were aware of the importance of using condom in preventing disease transmission. Television/radio was the most common sources of information for 135 (90%) patients. Nearly, 69% respondents disfavored disclosing their disease to friends/colleagues fearing stigmatization. Conclusions: Information, education, and communication activities are imperative to educate persons living with HIV/AIDS about life-long nature of the disease, modes of its transmission, and significance of preventive measures to bridge the gaps in their knowledge. While improvement in individual economic status, education, and health services remains highly desirable, mass media can play a pivotal role in creating awareness among masses.

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