Awareness of HIV/ AIDS among newly admitted nursing students

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1 Awareness of HIV/ AIDS among newly admitted nursing students Suresh K. Sharma, Kuldeep Kaur, Manpreet Kaur Abstract : A cross-sectional study was conducted to assess the awareness of HIV/AIDS among 100 nursing students at College of Nursing, DMCH, Ludhiana, Punjab. It was found that about 90% of girls were aware about transmission of HIV/AIDS through sexual, blood and mother to child route whereas about more than 50% of the girls were unaware of transmission through homosexuality, breast feeding and Intravenous drug abuse. Another step ahead, about 95% of the girls were aware that HIV/AIDS transmission can be prevented through use of condom, safe disposable syringes and safe blood transfusion, whereas 16% and 20% girls respectively had misconception that HIV/AIDS can be prevented through use of a vaccine and is a curable disease. Chi-squire test was used to see the relationship between habitat, type of family, type of schooling, type of nursing program they are undergoing and HIV/AIDS awareness score of the students. It was found that urban, joint family and private school studied students had higher HIV/AIDS awareness score in comparison to rural, nuclear family and Government school studied students, but it was not found statistically significant (p > 0.05). In other hand B.Sc. Nursing program enrolled students had higher HIV/AIDS awareness score than GNM program students and it was statistically significant (p < 0.05). It is recommended that health education, for the students especially sex education in the higher secondary level along with reorientation training program for the teachers should be encouraged. Key words : Awareness, HIV/AIDS, newly admitted, nursing students Correspondence at : Suresh K. Sharma Lecturer, College of Nursing, Dayanand Medical College & Hospital, Ludhiana, Punjab, India. Introduction The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) that causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) has brought a pandemic that poses a unique challenge to public health Nurses 1. HIV/AIDS is deeply symbolic of the collective malaise that our society faces in the era of globalization and liberalization. The first serological evidences of HIV infection in India was discovered amongst female sex workers 32

2 in Tamil Nadu in Since then, there is remarkable increase in the HIV/ AIDS infection. As per 2004 estimates by National AIDS Control Organization of India (NACO), 5.1 million people were infected with HIV. India has the second highest number of people living with HIV/ AIDS in world after South Africa. India accounts for almost 10 per cent of the 40 million people living with HIV/ AIDS globally. 2 Several experimental trials have been conducted on cure of the HIV/ AIDS, but cure is still doubtful as well as it is very expensive. thus the proverb "prevention is better than cure". One of the most important strategies for prevention of HIV/ AIDS is the promotion of awareness and accurate knowledge about AIDS, it's mode of transmission and methods of prevention in the reproductive age group. Most vulnerable age group prone to HIV/ AIDS is 15 to 25 years. 3 NACO also advocates the need for time to time behavioral surveillance. An attempt was made to study the awareness level and knowledge among the 1st year nursing students (within a week of the admission) of College of Nursing, Dayanad Medical College & Hospital, Ludhiana, Punjab. These nursing students were fresh not yet exposed to nursing science and will represent other adolescent girls of the society studying in collegiate education. Objectives 1. To assess the awareness of HIV/ AIDS among newly admitted nursing students. 2. To determine the relationship between selected demographic variables and awareness of HIV/ AIDS among students. Materials and Methods This cross sectional study was conducted in College of Nursing, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludiana, Punjab during the month of October Dayanand Medical College and Hospital is an eminent tertiary care providing health institution in northern India which is consisting Medical College and a College of Nursing. This College of Nursing is running two types of nursing programs with intake of fifty students in each i.e. three years General Nursing & Midwifery and four years B. Sc. Nursing Program. There were total 100 fresh admitted nursing students in GNM and B. Sc. Nursing Program. Out of them, with help of total enumerative sampling, all 100 students were selected as study sample. A semi-structured questionnaire was prepared to assess the awareness of HIV/ AIDS among respondents. Validity was established by seeking the opinion of 3 experts from field of nursing research. A test retest reliability was also calculated and found to be significant for research tools. Data was analyzed and presented by using descriptive and inferential statistics. Observations Findings revealed that, 100 nursing collegiate girls' age ranged between 17 to 21 years with mean age of ± 0.88 years. Majority of them i.e. 83 per cent were Sikh. Most of them i.e. 97 per cent were 10+2 pass, only 3 per cent of them were graduate. Majority of girls i.e. 74 per cent of them were from nuclear families whereas belonged to joint families (Table - 1). 33

3 Table - 1: Socio-demographic profile of the subjects Characteristics f N = 100 Age (years) Religion Mean = ± 0.88 years Mode = 18 years Range = years Sikh 83 Hindu 17 Academic qualification Family type Graduation 03 Nuclear 74 Joint 26 Out of a total of 100 nursing students, 87% of them were aware that HIV/ AIDS can be transmitted through heterosexual activity whereas only 31% them were aware that AIDS also can be transmitted through homosexual activity. All the 100 students were aware that HIV/ AIDS is transmitted through blood and blood products. Role of syringe needle prick and shaving blade in transmission of HIV/ AIDS was known to 90% and 73% of the girls respectively. In mother to child route of transmission, 96% of the girls were aware that this disease can be transmitted from mother to child during pregnancy, whereas only 39% of them were aware that this also can be transmitted through breast feeding. Only 58% and 18% girls were aware that HIV/ AIDS also can be transmitted through intravenous drug abuse and tattooing respectively. On the other side about 90% of the girls were aware about the facts that HIV/ AIDS can not be transmitted through kissing and hugging, mosquito bites, sharing personal items (undergarments, utensils, clothes), coughing & sneezing, examining & caring an AIDS patient whereas only 29% of them were aware that HIV/AIDS can not be transmitted through mutual masturbation. 34

4 Table - 2 : Awareness about transmission of HIV/ AIDS N = 100 Variables f HIV/ AIDS can be transmitted through.. Heterosexual activity 87 Homosexual activity 31 Blood & blood product transfusion 100 Syringe needle prick and injuries 90 Shaving blades 73 Mother to child during pregnancy 96 Mother to child through breast feeding 39 Intravenous drug users 58 Tattooing 18 HIV/AIDS cannot be trasmitted through Mutual masturbation 29 Kissing and hugging 93 Mosquito bites 89 Sharing personal items 94 Coughing & sneezing 94 Examining & caring a AIDS patient 89 Table - 3 depicts that role of condom in prevention of HIV/ AIDS was accepted by 94% of girls, whereas use of safe disposable syringes and safe blood transfusion were believed by 98% and 96% of girls respectively. Table - 3 : Awareness about prevention & treatment of HIV/ AIDS Variables AIDS can be prevented by Inspite of vast amount of health education and mass media coverage about HIV/ AIDS information, 84% of girls had misconception that HIV/ AIDS can be prevented through use of a vaccine and one fifth of girls reported AIDS as a curable disease. Use of condom during intercourse 94 Use of safe disposable syringes 98 Safe blood transfusion 96 Vaccination for HIV/AIDS 84 AIDS is not a curable disease 80 f N =

5 In response to sources of awareness about HIV/ AIDS, it was revealed that television played a pivot role in disseminating the information about HIV/ AIDS among this group of population, followed by academic study books, newspapers/ magazines, radio, and friends/ relatives etc (Table - 4) Table - 4 : Source of learning about HIV/ AIDS among subjects N = 100 Source Television 100 Radio 46 Newspaper/ Magazines 78 Academic study books 95 Friends/ relatives 32 Table 5 depicts the relationship between selected demographic variables adn HIV/AIDS awareness score among subjects. Awareness score ranged between f Table - 5 : Selected demographic variables and HIV/ AIDS Awareness N = 100 Demographic HIV/ AIDS awareness score variables P value Poor score Fare score Good score f f f Habitat:- Urban Rural X 2 = 0.41 NS Type of family Nuclear Joint X 2 = 1.04 NS Type of schooling Govt. school Private X 2 = 4,67 NS Type of nursing program B. Sc. Nsg G.N.M X 2 = 16.70* Total N = 100 d.f. = 2, p = 0.05, * significance, Min. Score = 11, Max. Score = , which divided into poor (11-14), fair (15-17), good awareness score (18-20). Data revealed that out of 100 subjects, 59% had fair awareness whereas only 10% girls had good awareness. When awareness scores were compared between different habitats, type of family, and type of schooling. It was found that girls belonging from urban area, nuclear family and studied in private school were 6%, 7% and 9% respectively to have good awareness score, whereas girls belonging from rural area, joint family and studied in government schooling were only 4%, 3% and 1% to have good score, which was comparatively lesser but not found statistical significant (p>0.05). As per type of program they are undergoing, 7% B. Sc. Nuring enroled girls had good awareness score whereas only 3% General Nursing & Midwifery enrolled girls had good awareness score, which was comparatively lesser and found statistical significant (p>0.001). 36

6 Discussion This study was conducted on 100 nursing students at College of Nursing, DMCH, Ludhiana, Punjab (within a week of the admission). The findings revealed that majority of (83%) Sikh community girls with mean age of ±0.88 years, belonging equally from rural and urban area. It was also depicted that about 90% of them were aware about transmission of HIV/ AIDS through sexual, blood and mother to child route, whereas about more than fifty per cent of them were unaware about homosexuality, breast feeding and Intravenous drug abuse transmission of HIV/ AIDS. Majority of the students i.e. 95% were aware that HIV/ AIDS transmission can be prevented through use of condom during intercourse, use of safe disposable syringes and safe blood transfusion, whereas 16% and 20% girls respectively had misconception that HIV/ AIDS can be prevented through use of a vaccine and is curable disease. Study finding coincides with a study conducted by Basavayya SG et al on 145 fresh entrants of medical education, where they found that 91% of the boys and 96% of the girls were aware of the AIDS in terms of its spread, prevention and treatment. Very few i.e. 5% girls of the girls and 2.5% boys has misconception that HIV/AIDS can be transmitted to health personnel during examination and care of the patient. 3 Nearby similar findings were found in present study. Study finding depicted that televisions played a vital role in spreading the message about HIV/ AIDS in public, all of the students have chance to learn about HIV/AIDS from television. Chi-squire test was used to see the relationship between habitat, type of family, type of schooling, type of nursing program they are undergoing and HIV/ AIDS awareness score of the students. It was found that urban, joint family and private school studied students had higher HIV/ AIDS awareness score in comparison to rural, nuclear family and Govt. school studied students, but it was found statistically in significant (p>0.05). On other hand B.Sc. Nursing program enrolled students has higher HIV/ AIDS awareness score than GNM program students and it was statistically significant (p<0.05). Conclusion Study results conclued that more than 80% girls were awareness about most of th erouts of HIV/AIDS transmission and prevention of HIV and AIDS by various means, but more than 60% of them were unawareness about transmission of HIV/AIDS through heterosexual activity, breast feeding and tattooing. More than 10% girls had misconception that HIV/AIDS can be transmitted through mosquito bite and caring of a AIDS patient. More than half of the girls had fare HIV/AIDS awareness score but good awareness score was found only among 10% girls, which signified that still there is existence of greater degree of unawareness a mong these vulnerable groups. So it recommended that role of higher secondary education in preview of HIV/AIDS need to be appreciated and strengthened to give significate check over this devasting problem. 37

7 References 1. Singh SP, Garg N, Mohapatra SC, Mishra RN. Effect of some health education technique in dissemination of the knowledge about HIV/ AIDS among adolescent students. Indian Journal of Community Medicine 2005; 30 (1): Gangoli VL, Gaitonde R. HIV/ AIDS. Health Action 2005: Basavayya SG, Sai RST, Kolli MKS. Awareness of HIV/ AIDS among medical students Indian Journal of Pubic Health 2005 (1):

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