Knowledge and attitudes towards HIV/AIDS amongst Kuwait university dental students

Authors


Devipriya B. Sundaram
Faculty of Dentistry
Kuwait University
P.O. Box: 24923
Safat 13110, Kuwait
Tel: +965–24986812
Fax: +965–25326049
e-mail: devipriya@hsc.edu.kw

Abstract

The HIV and AIDS have emerged as complex health threats to the world population. As future dentists, it is pertinent that the dental students have sufficient knowledge and a positive approach towards the disease. Accordingly, the aim of this study was to assess the HIV/AIDS related knowledge and attitudes amongst clinical dental students at Kuwait University. A cross-sectional survey was conducted amongst the clinical dental students using a structured questionnaire with 60 questions to examine their knowledge under various categories and 13 questions to examine their attitudes towards the disease. The survey revealed that almost 58% of the respondents demonstrated a high level of knowledge (mean score: 45.23 ± 4.35 SD). Majority of the students (63.6%) expressed negative attitude (mean score: 5.36 ± 2.56 SD). The mean knowledge score of the fifth year dental students was significantly higher (= 0.022) than that of the final year dental students regarding the knowledge of virus and disease process. However, no significant difference was observed with respect to other knowledge categories. Despite their high level of knowledge, the majority displayed a negative attitude towards HIV/AIDS. Hence, the findings imply that there is a need to address, more clearly, the students’ misconceptions and attitudes towards the disease.

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