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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Assessment of knowledge, attitude and risk behaviors towards HIV/AIDS and other sexual transmitted infection among preparatory students of Gondar town, north west Ethiopia

Yitayal Shiferaw1*, Agersew Alemu1, Amanuel Girma2, Afera Getahun1, Andarge Kassa3, Alemayehu Gashaw1, Abebe Alemu1, Takele Teklu1 and Baye Gelaw1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Medical Laboratory Science, College of Medicine and Health Science, University of Gondar, Gondar, PO Box ET196, Ethiopia

2 Department of Physiology, College of Medicine and Health Sciences,University of Gondar, Gondar, PO Box ET196, Ethiopia

3 Department of Biochemistry, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar, Gondar, PO Box ET196, Ethiopia

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BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:505  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-505

Published: 21 November 2011

Abstract

Background

The first case of HIV in Ethiopia was reported in 1984. Since then, HIV/AIDS has become a major public health concern in the country, leading the Government of Ethiopia to declare a public health emergency in 2002. Although the epidemic is currently stable, HIV/AIDS remains a major development challenge for Ethiopia. The spread of HIV in any community is in part determined by the knowledge of attitude towards sexuality of its members and by their actual sexual practices. The aim of the study was to assess students' knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding HIV/AIDS and STDs in Gondar, North West Ethiopia.

Methods

A cross sectional study was conducted between February 1 to March 1, 2009 in preparatory high school students. Pre-tested questioner was used to generate the data and analysis was made by SPSS version 15. Chi -square value was calculated and p-value < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results

All the students had heard about AIDS before the interview. Knowledge on some aspect of the disease was quite low in the study group. Only half of the students knew that at present, AIDs is incurable and that HIV infection can be acquired through sexual contact with a 'familiar' person. Knowledge about STI was also quite low, 39% knew that pus in the urine is a symptom of STI and 45.4% knew that acquisition of other STIs is increases the chance of HIV transmission following unsafe sex with known cases. 25% of the study group had previous sexual intercourse and exposed at least one risk behavior. About 34% of the respondents had negative attitude towards AIDS and STDs.

Conclusion

Awareness about STDs and methods of prevention of HIV and STDs was low. More risk behavior was observed in male and those with alcohol and drugs of abuse.