A Community Based Study on Awareness of HIV/AIDS among Young Males of Meerut, Uttar Pradesh
Background: Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a challenging illness caused by the HIV virus, which weakens the immune system and leads to death through secondary infections. HIV/AIDS is spreading globally, hitting the younger generations.
Objective: To assess the knowledge and awareness about HIV/AIDS among young males of rural and urban area of Meerut District.
Study Design: Cross-sectional, community based study.
Settings and Participants: One urban (Multan Nagar) and one rural (Khajuri) area under the field practice area of Department of Community Medicine, Subharti Medical College, Meerut.
Sample Size: 600 male young males aged 15-24 years, 300 were selected from urban area and 300 from rural area respectively.
Study Period: Jan 2011 to June 2011
Methodology: A pre-designed, pre-tested, interview schedule was used after taking verbal consent. Questions consisted of awareness (i.e. whether ever heard of HIV/AIDS), knowledge about source of infection, modes of prevention of HIV/AIDS and source of information regarding HIV/AIDS,
Results: The awareness of HIV/AIDS was higher (80%) among the urban respondents as compared to the rural respondents (53.3%). The predominant source of information among urban respondents was reading material such as newspapers, magazine, brochure and electronic media and rural subjects was interpersonal communication with doctors, health workers and friends. 42.5% of the rural respondents and 16.7% urban respondents did not know about any source of infection of HIV/ AIDS. The predominant mode of transmission of HIV/AIDS which the maximum respondents knew was unsafe sex among both urban and rural area. 37.5% of the rural respondents and 16.7% urban respondents did not know about any modes of prevention for HIV/AIDS although 25% urban and rural respondents knew that condom usage prevents HIV infection.
Conclusion: HIV/AIDS awareness and knowledge among the young males was found to be low. Targeted approach and more intensified Information, Education and Communication (IEC) campaigns are needed to contain this dreaded epidemic.
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