For preventing occupational HIV infections, valid knowledge about HIV transmission and the epidemiology of HIV / AIDS in medical students is very important, because a) the number of HIV positive patients is still increasing, b) students are working close to patients, c) they are in a process of development to their later social role as physicians and d) they belong, due to their age, to the group with the highest statistical risk of getting HIV infected. The study analysed in seven representative samples from 1991 to 1999 of altogether 885 German medical students 1) the changes in their assessments on the risk of getting HIV infected in typical clinical routine situations vs. non-clinical situations, 2) their epidemiological knowledge about HIV / AIDS in Germany and 3) their use of condoms. It becomes obvious, that medical students still have gaps in their knowledge about HIV transmission and that there are no changes over the years. More than 10 % of them see in changing dirty linen, doing a physical examination or mosquito-bites a high risk of getting HIV infected. The incidence of HIV and mortality of AIDS was constantly overestimated. Only the percentage of condom nonusers in sexually active students decreased from 45 % to 18 %. The study indicates, that information campaigns and medical training could not solve the problem of insufficient knowledge about HIV. For better patient care, for their later work as physicians and for themselves, medical students still need more information about epidemiology and HIV related aspects.
Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Students
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA