Sexual Behavior, Knowledge and Attitude of Non-Medical University Students Towards HIV/AIDS in Malaysia

AUTHORS

Sh Jahanfar 1 , * , Sann Lye M 2 , L Rampal 3

1 Associate Professor, Department of Public Health, Royal College of Medicine, Perak, University Kuala Lumpur

2 Professor of Epidemiology, Department of Community Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia,

3 Professor of Epidemiology, Department of Community Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia.

How to Cite: Jahanfar S, Lye M S, Rampal L. Sexual Behavior, Knowledge and Attitude of Non-Medical University Students Towards HIV/AIDS in Malaysia, Shiraz E-Med J. 2010 ; 11(3):e94484.

ARTICLE INFORMATION

Shiraz E-Medical Journal: 11 (3); e94484
Published Online: January 01, 2010
Article Type: Research Article
Received: May 26, 2019
Accepted: January 01, 2010
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Abstract

Background: Concerns about infection with Human Immune Deficiency Virus (HIV) among adolescents has renewed interest in developing countries, where they represent a large proportion of population and are at high risk. Little is known about sexual knowledge of university students in Malaysia. University students’ pattern of risky behavior and the extent of their knowledge regarding HIV can determine the type of interventional programs that can be developed for the sensitive issue of HIV in a country where Islam is the national religion. Methodology: A cross-sectional study on sexual and drug use behavior, knowledge and attitude of HIV risk was undertaken amongst 530 university students using simple random sampling. The study was conducted using a self-administered questionnaire. Result: Knowledge of university students about HIV was high but there are still some remaining misconceptions. Contribution of parents and medical personnel in informing students about HIV was negligible while audiovisuals including internet were found to be the main source of knowledge. Students’ risk taking behavior was low as only 2.3% of students reported sexual activity during last 12 month, 58.3% of whom were using condoms. Frequency of intravenous drug use was 1.7% only. Two percent self-reported as HIV positive. However frequencies of tobacco use and alcohol intake was 21.2% and 9.7% respectively. Peer pressure (63.9%) and lack of guidance (23.9%) was reported to be the main reasons for students’ drug use. Females had a better attitude than males (p=0.02). There was a correlation between score of knowledge with attitude (p=0.01) and behavior (p=0.05). Discussion and conclusion: Parents’ guidance about risk taking behavior should be encouraged. Peer education intervention programs are needed for university students to clarify their Shiraz E Medical Journal, Vol. 11, No. 3, July 2010 127 misconceptions, improve their attitude and prevent risky behavior. Further studies to investigate the role of tobacco and alcohol use on the students’ risk taking behavior are recommended.

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