Assessment of public knowledge towards HIV/AIDS in the Saudi community
Khlood zaal al-onazi, Magda Bayoumi
Background and objectives: HIV/AIDS is one of the major global health problems. Although the prevalence of HIV in Saudis is low, educational and awareness program could play major role in controlling and preventing the spread of the disease. Present study aimed at to assess the public’s general knowledge towards HIV/AIDS among Saudis. Methods: The present descriptive cross sectional community based survey study was conducted by self-administered questionnaire in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Results: A total of 400 respondents was included in the present study. The mean age was 18.7 ± 5.41 years, education was mostly secondary, 63.8% were single and 53.8% were students. Several misconceptions and erroneous beliefs were found including 53.75% thought that the use of public swimming pools and toilets, 51.25% mosquito bite, 47.5% coughing and sneezing may cause HIV transmission. However, about 90% respondents have shown some good piece of knowledge that contaminated razors and toothbrushes, sexual intercourse without condom, needle addiction, and blood transfusion may cause HIV transmission. 48.75% thought HIV symptoms are similar to flu. Conclusion: The finding highlighted warrant consideration to increase general knowledge, public awareness and preventive measurement for HIV/AIDS among Saudis.