Full Length Research Paper
Nurses’ knowledge, perceptions, and attitudes towards HIV/AIDS: Effects of a health education intervention on two nursing groups in Cairo University, Egypt Eman Taher and Rehab Abdelhai*
Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Egypt. Accepted 3 April, 2011
Information education and communication (IEC) programs are the most effective available approaches for combating the HIV pandemic especially among nurses. The aim of this study is to assess knowledge, perceptions and attitudes towards HIV/AIDS before and after an IEC intervention program. The study used a prospective interventional design that was conducted on two different nursing groups: post-graduate nursing staff (67 nurses) and undergraduate nursing students (73 students). A significant improvement in the general knowledge and perceptions score was observed (from 7.29 ± 1.2 to 8.01 ± 1.5 with P worldwide (UNAIDS, 2008). Egypt is considered to have a low HIV prevalence, with estimates of less than 1% of the population as HIVpositive. However, unsafe behaviors among at-risk populations set Egypt at risk of a broader epidemic. In 2008, there were 510 deaths attributed to HIV/AIDS and 9,200 PLWHA, in Egypt (UNAIDS/WHO, 2008). By the end of 2009, the National AIDS Program (NAP) reported 3,919 HIV cases detected in Egypt, of which 2,920 were Egyptians. Among these, 1078 (27.5%) developed AIDS (National AIDS Program, 2008). Since 1990 and till date, the number of detected cases has shown an exponential increase mounting to 268%. In the past decade alone, there was an increase by 120% (1,040 HIV and AIDS cases from 2001 to 2005 and 1,255 cases from 2006 to 2009). This perceived increase of HIV positive cases may be partially explained by the efforts of the NAP to improve HIV testing and reporting (National AIDS Program, 2008). In most developing countries, the lack of universal adherence to infection control protocols, such as injection safety, poses a great risk for healthcare workers of occupational HIV infection at virtually every level of their daily work (Kermode, 2004; Nsubuga and Jaakkola, 2005; Ehlers, 2006). The duties of the nursing staff include collecting body samples (blood, urine, stool, sputum, etc.) from both out-patients and in-patients,
*Corresponding author. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tel: +20 – (0)12 – 298 55 00. Fax: +20 – (0) 2 – 395 32 11. Abbreviations: IEC, Information education and communication; HIV, human immune deficiency virus; AIDS, acquired immune deficiency syndrome; PLWHA, people living with HIV/AIDS.
Taher and Abdelhai
administering oral, intravenous or intramuscular medication, in addition to cleaning...