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Predictors of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Knowledge among Jordanian Youths

Author(s): Esra M. Al-Khasawneh | Leyla Ismayilova | Vidya Seshan | Olimat Hmoud | Nabila El-Bassel

Journal: Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal : SQUMJ
ISSN 2075-051X

Volume: 13;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 232;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: HIV knowledge | Youth | Jordan | Middle East

Objectives: Understanding factors associated with the level of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) knowledge acquisition is crucial to inform preventative programmes for young people. This study examinespredictors of HIV knowledge among Jordanian youths. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 8,129 youths aged between 14 and 25 years randomly selected from schools representing each of the 12governorates of Jordan. A total of 50% of respondents were female and, on average, 17 years old. Participants completed a self-administered questionnaire covering sociodemographic characteristics, HIV knowledge, gender awareness, exposure to and favourable attitudes toward risky behaviours. Results: On a 13-item HIV knowledge test, participants answered an average of 7 questions correctly (mean = 7.21; standard deviation = 2.63). Female respondents from rural areas demonstrated significantly lower levels of HIV knowledge, while college and university students demonstrated higher levels. HIV knowledge differed significantly by sources of information, with peeracquired information associated with more accuracy, while HIV information from parents or health centres was associated with a lower score. Youths with more egalitarian gender views also demonstrated higher knowledge levels, whereas youths approving of drug use showed lower levels of HIV knowledge. Conclusion: HIV education programmes in Jordan should focus on females and youths living in rural areas. Educational institutions have been shown to be effective in providing accurate information to students, while parents and health professionals should also be included in HIV prevention programmes in order to reduce misconceptions and raise the level of HIV knowledge among Jordanian youths.
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