A Population-based Study into Knowledge, Attitudes and Beliefs (KAB) about HIV/AIDS


1 Medical Ethics Department, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran Mashhad, Iran. Tel: +985138002388; Email: khajedalueem@mums.ac.ir

2 Faculty of Medicine,Mashhad University of Medical Sciences,Mashhad, IR Iran



Abstract Background: It has been reported that three factors may be responsible for the social stigma associated with disease: widespread ignorance, little information andmisconceptions about the disease in society. Objectives: This study is aimed to assess knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about HIV/AIDS in residents of Mashhad, the largest city in northeast Iran. Patients and Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted over three days, starting on December 1 2013, since this day was the World’s AIDS day. Each day the investigating group carried out the study in a different crowded place in the city. Using a convenience samplingmethod,members of the public were asked to fill in a questionnaire, which included the world health organization’s instru- ment for assessing knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about HIV/AIDS. The data obtained were evaluated by frequency and percentage ratios, Chi-square (2 ),Mann-Whitney and Kruskal-Wallis tests, using the significance level P < 0.05. Results: Three hundred and eighty five individuals participated in this study. Themedian age was 27 years and the interquartile range was 21 - 45 years. The data analysis showed that most participants had good knowledge in this general domain: 70.2% of the answers in this domain were correct (47.1% in males and 23.1% in females). In general, the respondents’ attitudes toward AIDS were found to be tolerable and the total score showed significant differences according to educational level (P < 0.001). The majority of the respon- dents indicated that television, newspapers,magazines, and bookswere theirmajor sources of information about AIDS. Approximately 80% of participants needed specific information about the disease, with the preventionmethods being themost frequently requested information. Conclusions: This study showed that wemust putmore effort in translating knowledge into behavior.