Open Access Research article

Knowledge, attitude and practices regarding HIV/AIDS among adult fishermen in coastal areas of Karachi

Mubashir Zafar1, Nighat Nisar1, Masood Kadir2, Zafar Fatmi2, Zeeshan Ahmed1 and Kashif Shafique13*

Author Affiliations

1 School of Public Health, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan

2 Department of Community Health Sciences, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan

3 Institute of Health & Wellbeing, Public Health, University of Glasgow, 1-Lilybank Gardens, Glasgow, United Kingdom

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BMC Public Health 2014, 14:437  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-437

Published: 10 May 2014



Migrant populations are at high risk of Human Immuno Deficiency Virus infection (HIV) and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Studies of HIV/AIDS knowledge, attitudes and practices among fishermen in developing countries have shown gaps in knowledge and fear of contagion with ambivalent attitudes towards HIV/AIDS and inconsistent universal precautions adherence. The aim of this study was to determine the knowledge, attitude and practices regarding HIV/AIDS among adult fishermen in a coastal area of Karachi, Pakistan.


Community based cross sectional study was conducted among fishermen in coastal area of Karachi from June to September 2012. A total of 297 adult fishermen were selected by using simple random sampling technique from different sectors of coastal village. Data were collected using a structured validated questionnaire. The frequency distribution of both dependent and independent variables were worked out. Comparisons of knowledge, attitude and practices regarding HIV/AIDS by socio-demographic characteristics were made using logistic regression.


Out of 297 fishermen, majority had in-appropriate knowledge (93.6%), negative attitude (75.8%) and less adherent sexual practices (91.6%). In univariate analysis, lower education and higher income were significantly associated (OR 2.25, 95% CI, 1.11, 4.55), (OR = 3.04 CI 1.03-9.02, p value 0.04) with negative attitude and un-safe practices towards HIV/AIDS respectively, whereas no significant association of socio-economic characteristics with knowledge, attitude and practices were observed in multivariate analysis.


This study suggests that fishermen had very poor knowledge, negative attitudes towards HIV and AIDS and had unsafe sexual practices which suggest that they lack the basic understanding of HIV/AIDS infection. Extensive health education campaign should be provided to the vulnerable sections of the society for the control of HIV/AIDS.

HIV/AIDS; Pakistan; KAP; Fishermen; Coastal-belt