In this Section
179652 Knowledge and behaviors related to HIV/AIDS among female college students in Taiwan
Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 11:30 AM
Background: The HIV infection rate in Taiwan has been growing at nearly 15% per year since 1997. Low level of knowledge about HIV/AIDS might put Taiwanese college students at risk for HIV infection. Under the influence of culture on gender roles and males engaging in high-risk sexual behavior, Taiwanese women are vulnerable to HIV infection. The objectives of this study were to (a) assess the knowledge, source of HIV/AIDS information, and behaviors related to HIV/AIDS among female college students in Taiwan and (b) explore the factors associated with knowledge of HIV/AIDS among female college students in Taiwan.
Methods: A descriptive, cross-sectional design with a convenience sample was used to recruit participants enrolled in a 4-year private university. Ninety-nine participants completed a self-administered questionnaire, including demographic data, the International AIDS Questionnaire, the Source of HIV/AIDS Information, and the Sexual History.
Results: Only 44% of the respondents were aware that HIV can be spread through infected sperm. Nearly a quarter of the respondents believed that HIV can be contracted through mosquito bites (25%) or swimming pools (23%). Primary sources of HIV/AIDS information for nearly two-thirds of the respondents were television, newspaper, health professionals, and the internet. About 69% of respondents were sexually active. Among those who had had sex, 47% had only one partner in their life, the remainder had two or more partners. The sexually active participants scored higher in HIV/AIDS knowledge than those who were not sexually active, p = .02. HIV/AIDS knowledge were significantly related to students' year in college (rs(99) = .42, p < .01) and smoking level (rs(99) = -.31, p < .01).
Conclusions: The global health problem of HIV infection knows no borders. Accurate HIV/AIDS information is the first step in preventing the spread of this epidemic. Results of this study suggest that female college students in Taiwan lack a sufficient knowledge base upon which to build their understanding of HIV/AIDS. Formal sources of information must be strengthened and individuals who are knowledgeable and highly respected within a society (e.g., nursing professionals) must be involved in developing strategies for informing Taiwanese youth about HIV/AIDS.
Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Taiwan Health
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have no conflict of interest in presenting this abstract at APHA
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.