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Knowledge and attitudes of students in an offshore Caribbean medical school towards HIV/AIDS

Background

Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) is seen is increasingly become one of the most pressing public health dilemma in the Caribbean.

This study is aimed at assessing the level of knowledge, attitudes and misconceptions of the medical students in an Offshore Caribbean Medical School towards HIV/AIDS.

Methods

Semi-structured questionnaires were used to collate information. Verbal Voluntary consents were obtained fromall the respondents.

Results

Out of 150 questionnaires distributed, 130 were filled, showing a response rate of 87%. The ages of the respondents ranged from 19-45 years with mean age of 26. Our finding revealed that the knowledge of HIV/AIDS is high: 97.7%. HIV/AIDS associated beliefs: 22.3% sees the disease as a punishment for unfaithfulness or immorality. A negative attitude towards HIV patients was seen in 3.8% of the respondents.

Discussion

Risky behaviours were identified but the prevalence of such behaviours is low. Religion was identified to play an important role in the conception and misconception about condom usage and possibly transmission of the virus. Behaviour modification course is recommended to be incorporated in the school curriculum to correct misconceptions among medical students.

Author information

Correspondence to Rotimi Orisatoki.

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Keywords

  • Public Health
  • Infectious Disease
  • Cancer Research
  • Medical School
  • Medical Student