Knowledge About HIV/AIDS Among High School Students in Erbil City/Iraq

  •  Samir Othman    


Background and Objectives: HIV/AIDS is as a major public health problem which leads to serious challenges to humankind globally. The aim of this study was to assess the knowledge about HIV/AIDS among high school students in Erbil city and to investigate the association between high school students’ socio-demographic characteristics and their level of knowledge about HIV/AIDS.

Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out in three high schools in Erbil city from February to April 2014. A sample of 437 students was included in the study from fourth, fifth and sixth stages. A multistage cluster sampling method was used to select the students. Data analysis included descriptive statistics and chi-square association test for categorical variables.

Results: The age range of the students was between 14 and 21 years with mean ± standard deviation of 16.0 ± 0. 927 years. All the students had heard about AIDS where around two thirds of students had heard from mass media like TV/Radio. Around 45% of students had good knowledge scores about HIV/AIDS, and 43.7% had acceptable knowledge scores, while only 11.2% had poor knowledge scores. There was a statistically significant association between high knowledge score about HIV/AIDS with older age, male gender, and typical school type (P < 0.001). High socio-economic status of students was significantly associated with high score of knowledge about HIV/AIDS (P = 0.005).

Conclusion: The overall rate of knowledge (acceptable and good) about HIV/AIDS among high school students was high. Socio-demographic characteristics of students have an effect on their knowledge about HIV/AIDS.

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