International journal of environmental research and public health 2017 03 0914(3) pii 10.3390/ijerph14030284
Caring for HIV/AIDS patients and/or drug users requires health care workers (HCWs) to have good knowledge of the issues. Cultural differences in HCWs, combined with professional ethics and personal beliefs, could also result in conflicting attitudes, leading to difficulties related to looking after people affected by HIV/AIDS or drug users. A cross-sectional study was carried out to assess the attitude towards HIV/AIDS patients and/or drug users in a sample of workers operating in a large university hospital in southern Italy. A total of 736 workers were surveyed from May to November 2016. During the periodic occupational health surveillance, a questionnaire was administered about attitudes of discrimination, acceptance and fear towards these patients. Respondents showed average levels of acceptance to HIV/AIDS and drug user patients. As years of experience and professional training increased, scores for discrimination, acceptance of HIV/AIDS, acceptance of drug users and fear decreased. Factors positively influencing levels of attitudes were being female and younger. Supplementary education is needed to strengthen the awareness of HCWs.