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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 103-107

Knowledge and attitudes about HIV/AIDS in illegal residents in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

1 Ministry of Health; College of Medicine, Alfaisal University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 Ministry of Health, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
3 Speciality Mediicne, Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia; Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Correspondence Address:
Ziad A Memish
Ministry of Health; College of Medicine, Alfaisal University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

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Source of Support: The study was supported by the Saudi Ministry of Health., Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-777X.161744

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Objectives: To study the knowledge, attitudes, and practices with regard to human immunodeficiency virus infection / acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) in illegal residents, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Materials and Methods: A questionnaire study was conducted among the illegal residents from four regions in Saudi Arabia: Jeddah, Makkah, Riyadh, and Jazan. Results: The survey enrolled 5,000 participants, 79%male (39.6% from Jeddah; 20% from Riyadh; and 20% from Jazan), aged between 15 and 45 years. Of the total, 1288 (25.8%) had not heard about HIV/AIDS. Knowledge of HIV transmission was poor in 90% of the respondents. Of the total, 737 had read about HIV/AIDS materials and 649 participants had been previously tested for HIV. The majority of participants (85%) held a negative attitude toward people living with HIV/AIDS. Those who were knowledgeable about HIV/AIDS expressed more a positive attitude. One-fifth (968, majority were men; single 55%, married 45%) had engaged in non-marital sexual activity. The largest proportion of the individuals who had engaged in non-marital sex were single (54.9%) followed by the married ones (40.4%). Men cited pleasure as the main reason for such activity (84.6%), whereas women (73.4%) cited financial gain. Of the respondents, 53.9 and 32.1% believed that TV and schools were the best media through which information with regard to HIV/AIDS could be imparted. Conclusions: Knowledge of HIV/AIDS, its mode of transmission, and prevention measures was poor. Educational programs specifically targeted toward this group were required.

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2008 Journal of Global Infectious Diseases | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
Online since 10th December, 2008