AWARENESS OF WOMEN TOWARDS AN EMERGING THREAT

Farhana Yousuf, Gulfareen Haider, Nasirudin Muhamma, Ambreen Haider

Abstract


Background: The human immunodeficiency virus/Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome
(HIV/AIDS) pandemic continues it deadly assault in different parts of the world. Over 20 million
people have died since the first case of AIDS was identified in 1981. Despite increased spending on
HIV/AIDS programmes and improved responses by many governments, current global efforts remain
entirely inadequate for an epidemic that is continuing to spiral out of control. The objective of this study
was to determine the level of awareness about HIV and AIDS among women attending the obstetrics
and gynaecology clinic. Methods: This Descriptive study was conducted in the Obstetric &
Gynaecology clinic at LUMHS, Hyderabad Pakistan from 5th July 2007 to 3rd Dec 2007. A total of 178
women attending obstetric and gynaecology clinic of age 20–55 years were selected randomly.
Information was collected by pre-designed questionnaire to assess the level of awareness about
HIV/AIDS. Results: About 83.7% women had heard about HIV/AIDS and only 44.3% correctly stated
the difference in HIV/AIDS. Only 41.5% of respondents knew how would infected person present, and
55.6% respondents knew that it is transmitted through close sexual relationship, while less than 50%
correctly answered about mode of transmission through coughing, sneezing, hand shaking, kissing and
ear/nose piercing. Among the respondents, 52.2% correctly answered that screening of blood before
transmission can prevent HIV and only 38.2% respondents knew that HIV is preventable disease.
Conclusion: Women demonstrated lack of knowledge regarding HIV/AIDS and there are considerable
misconceptions and myths in certain aspects which need to be clarified through educating women.
Keywords: AIDS, HIV infection, women, prevention

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