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    105105

    HIV / AIDS: knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and practices.

    AIDS SURVEILLANCE REPORT. 1995 Jan; (4):3, 5-6.

    More than forty studies were reviewed in 1995 on the knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and practices of individuals with respect to HIV/AIDS in American Samoa, Cambodia, China, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Hong Kong, Japan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu, and Vietnam. In all but one of the twenty studies which inquired, more than 80% of respondents had heard of AIDS. In a number of countries, correct knowledge about the sexual transmission of HIV/AIDS was found to be at least 80%. A similar level of knowledge was found about needle transmission of HIV/AIDS, although comparatively lower levels of knowledge about HIV transmission via sexual intercourse, needle use/reuse, and maternal-child exchange was, however, identified in Cambodia, Fiji, Malaysia, Solomon Islands, and the high-risk populations of Vietnam and French Polynesia. Relatively high levels of incorrect answers were observed for the incorrect modes of HIV transmission. Moreover, 20% of respondents in each of the eight studies are in favor of exiling or isolating HIV-infected persons; in two countries, support for isolation or exile was 60% or greater. Overall, risk behaviors appear to exist at levels which will support an HIV epidemic in the countries studied. Levels of other sexually transmitted diseases and reported levels of extramarital and premarital sex, especially among males, support this conclusion. Commercial sex appears to occur at a substantial level in most of the societies studied, while condom use in casual and commercial sexual encounters seems to be the exception rather than the rule.
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