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Year : 1995  |  Volume : 39  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 105-8

Awareness on AIDS among health care professionals.

Dept. of Health Education, All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health

Correspondence Address:
M Dobe
Dept. of Health Education, All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 8690488

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In India, a health education professor conducted a survey of 400 health care professionals at the medical college and hospital in Calcutta, West Bengal, to examine their level of awareness about HIV/AIDS. The health care professionals included surgeons, gynecologists, pathologists, internal medicine specialists, blood bank workers, recent medical school graduates, clinical students, preclinical students, nurses, and technologists. 40-60% of preclinical students knew little about the natural history of HIV infection and its clinical manifestations. An absence of HIV/AIDS education in the undergraduate medical curriculum and no exposure to causes and clinical training in HIV/AIDS may account for this low knowledge level. 20% of students and 40% of physicians knew that there were HIV tests available. 50-60% of paramedical personnel had misconceptions about HIV/AIDS, particularly about utensils, sharing toilets, and bites of mosquitoes and bedbugs. 80-90% of all health personnel had knowledge levels about proper decontamination and precautionary measures against exposure to contaminated blood and body fluids. Preclinical students had the highest mean knowledge score. 66-80% of all health professionals were not satisfied with their current knowledge level on HIV/AIDS. This same proportion thought that they would benefit from HIV/AIDS education and training. The relatively low knowledge scores about HIV/AIDS may be due to the fact that public health authorities do not promote HIV/AIDS education, even though the national policy is to disseminate anti-HIV/AIDS messages.

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