Open Access Research article

A cross-sectional study to assess knowledge about HIV/AIDS transmission and prevention measures in company workers in Ecuador

María C Cabezas13*, Marco Fornasini2, Nadia Dardenne4, Teresa Borja1 and Adelin Albert4

Author Affiliations

1 Psychology School, Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ), Av. Diego de Robles y Vía Interoceánica, Cumbaya, Quito, Ecuador

2 Translational Research Center, Universidad de las Américas (UDLA), Av. de los Granados y Colimes, Quito, Ecuador

3 Public Health Department, University of Liège, Sart Tilman, B23, 4000, Liège, Belgium

4 Department of Medical Informatics and Biostatistics, University of Liège, Sart Tilman, B23, 4000, Liège, Belgium

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BMC Public Health 2013, 13:139  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-139

Published: 15 February 2013



HIV/AIDS was first reported in Ecuador in 1984 and its prevalence has been increasing ever since. In 2009, the National AIDS Program reported 21,810 HIV/AIDS cases and confirmed that the worker population was amongst the most affected groups. The objective of this study was to assess knowledge about HIV transmission and prevention measures in company workers in Ecuador.


A cross-sectional survey based on a random sample of 115 companies (1,732 workers), stratified by three large provinces and working sectors (commerce, manufacturing and real estate) was conducted. A validated instrument developed by Family Health International was used to evaluate HIV prevention knowledge and common local misconceptions about HIV transmission. Descriptive statistics, chi square test and logistic regression analysis were performed using SAS.


Incorrect knowledge about HIV/AIDS transmission were found in 49.1% (95% CI: 46.6–51.6) of subjects. Incorrect knowledge was higher among males (OR = 1.73 [1.39–2.15]), older subjects (OR = 1.35 [1.02–1.77]), subjects with lower education (OR = 3.72 [2.44–5.65]), manual labor workers (OR = 2.93 [1.82–4.73]) and subjects without previous exposure to HIV intervention programs (OR = 2.26 [1.79–2.86]). Incorrect knowledge about preventive measures was found among 32.9% (95%CI: 30.6–35.2) of respondents. This proportion was higher among subjects with lower education (OR = 2.28 [1.52–3.43]), married subjects (OR = 1.34 [1.07–1.68]), manual labor workers (OR = 1.80 [1.34–2.42]), and subjects not previously exposed to HIV intervention programs (OR = 1.44 [1.14–1.83]).


HIV intervention programs targeting company workers are urgently needed to improve knowledge and reduce HIV transmission in Ecuador.

HIV/AIDS; Ecuador; Prevention; Transmission; Educational