Knowledge, attitude and practices concerning HIV/AIDS among
Iranian at risk sub-populations
F. Ramezani Tehrani, H. Malek
Research Center for Reproductive Health, Tehran, Iran
Iran has been ranked among
the countries with low prevalence concentrated epidemic, but due to the paucity
of research on high-risk groups, little is known about their awareness,
behaviours and potential points of entry for HIV. This study looked at knowledge,
attitude and behaviours concerning HIV in a sample of 1005 cross boarder truck
drivers, female sex workers and youth.
We showed that the level of knowledge
about HIV on average was low and it was even lower among individuals with
high-risk behaviours, furthermore the individual risk perception was low.
High-risk groups’ awareness about other sexually transmitted infections is
relatively higher than youth but their knowledge comes primarily from personal
experience rather than public awareness program. People who engage in behaviours
that carry a high risk for HIV transmission very often engage in more than one
risky behaviour. Social and cultural constraints constitute a barrier to factual
communication about HIV issues, and existing awareness programs are not directed
at people with risky behaviours, so their poor knowledge and low risk perception
may lead to acquisition of HIV/AIDS.
The need to create a supportive environment
through a multi-sector policy, religious, political and programmatic approach is
recommended for the implementation of effective awareness and prevention
activities among specific sub population as well as general population.
KEY WORDS Iran, HIV, Knowledge, Commercial sex worker, Truck driver