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Official Publication of the Indian Association for the Study of Sexually Transmitted Diseases
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2007  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 10-14

AIDS: An understanding in rural women of South-India


National Institute of Epidemiology, ICMR, Chennai, India

Correspondence Address:
Thilakavathi Subramanian
Asst. Director, National Institute of Epidemiology, Indian Council of Medical Research, Second Main Road, Tamil Nadu Housing Board, Ayapakkam, Chennai - 600 077, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0253-7184.35704

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The study aims to find out the knowledge and understanding of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in 1,200 randomly selected women in the age group of 15-45 years, of 16 villages belonging to Villupuram Health Unit District, Tamil Nadu, India, using a two-stage sampling design. Data collection was done in the period from August to November 2001, using both qualitative and quantitative methods. In all, 28% of the women had not heard of AIDS at all. More than one-third of the women who had heard of AIDS considered AIDS as a serious illness; and among them, 72% ranked AIDS as the number one killer disease. The main findings showed that the rural women's knowledge was poor in areas like cause, symptoms and prevention. Level of literacy of the women was significantly associated with their knowledge of HIV/AIDS ( P <0.05), showing that literates had better knowledge than illiterates. Also, there were misconceptions and false beliefs about cause and spread of the infection, which were found to be more prevalent among illiterates. Television was found to be the major source of knowledge on AIDS among both literates and illiterates. This study suggests a need for innovative, group-based repeated education on AIDS, particularly for rural women, in order to impart better knowledge and understanding on AIDS.


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