Date of Award

5-7-2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

Francis A. McCarty, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Sheryl M. Strasser, PhD, MPH, MSW, CHES, CPHQ

Abstract

Although data shows that the incidence of HIV in India is falling, it is still a prevailing disease in India. The lack of knowledge about HIV and risky behaviors greatly influence the role of HIV transmission among the Indian population. These factors also contribute to the numbers of new HIV infections caused by unprotected sex, which account for 90% of the new HIV infections. Knowledge, attitudes and behaviors among the people living with HIV/AIDS also play an important role in HIV transmission. This study was conducted to explore the association between selected demographic variables on HIV related knowledge, attitudes and behaviors among people living in five high HIV prevalence states in India (Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Manipur, and Tamil Nadu). This study also examined the association between HIV infection status and HIV related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors in those five states. The data used in this study was from 2005-2006 Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) collected for India. Univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to study the association. The results showed that the proportion of people with “high HIV related knowledge” was greater than those who have “low HIV related Knowledge”. However, the proportion of people with “comprehensive knowledge of HIV prevention and transmission” was less. Similarly, a higher proportion of the study population showed “HIV/AIDS related positive attitudes”, however, the proportion of the study population with all 4 positive attitudes towards People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA) was lower. Increase in highest education level and wealth was found to be significantly associated with the “high HIV related knowledge”, “have comprehensive knowledge”, “have HIV related positive attitudes”, “have accepting attitudes towards PLHA”, and HIV related “less risky behaviors”. The data has shown that HIV positive males were more likely to have comprehensive knowledge of HIV prevention and transmission compared to HIV positive female. The study also showed that HIV positive individuals were more likely to have all 4 positive attitudes towards PLHA and they were likely to have more risky behaviors, although not statistically significant.

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