PloS one 2016 09 1411(9) e0161849 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0161849
The evidence is mixed on the HIV knowledge, attitude, and practices of youth in Iran. The aim of the current study was to assess knowledge, attitudes, and practices of Iranian youth towards HIV through a national survey.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Through a cross-sectional study with multistage cluster sampling, we administered a pilot-tested standard questionnaire to assess the levels of HIV knowledge, attitudes and practices of individuals aged 15-29 years old. Participants were recruited from 13 provinces in Iran and consisted of 2456 men and 2412 women.
Only 37.3% of the participants had a high knowledge score. Most participants knew the main routes of HIV transmission; however, misconceptions existed about the transmission of HIV through mosquito bites across all age groups (31.7% correct response). Positive levels of attitude wereobserved among 20.7% of the participants. Most participants believed that people living with HIV (PLHIV) should be supported (88.3%) while only 46.3% were ready to share a table with them. Among those aged 19-29 years old, the main source of HIV information was mass media (69.1%), only 13.1% had ever tested for HIV, around 20.8% had ever had extramarital sex (31.7% male vs. 9.6% female),1.8% ever injected drugs (2.9% male vs. and 0.7% female). Among sexually active subjects in this age group, only 21.8% (26.1% male vs. 7.1% female) were consistent condom users.
The findings showed that Iranian youth and young adults have relatively insufficient overall knowledge and negative attitudes about HIV and PLHIV. Novel strategies involving schools and youth’s networks could be employed to deliver a culturally sensitive sexual health program.