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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 372-376

HIV/AIDS awareness among Iraqi medical and dental students

1 School of Dentistry; Students' Scientific Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2 Research Center for Caries Prevention, Dentistry Research Institute, Department of Community Oral Health, School of Dentistry, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
3 Department of OMF Surgery, University of Kufa, Kufa, An Najaf, Iraq

Correspondence Address:
Ammar N. Hamid Albujeer
No. 1439955991, North Karegar Street, School of Dentistry, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran
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Source of Support: Nil., Conflict of Interest: There are no conflicts of interest.

DOI: 10.4103/2231-0762.164788

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Objectives: The present study investigated the awareness of HIV/AIDS among medical and dental students in four provinces of Iraq, a country with low HIV/AIDS frequency. Materials and Methods: In the present study, the target population was all Iraqi medical and dental students who were in 3rd and 4th year of their education. Out of 15 medicine and 10 dentistry faculties in Iraq, 4 medical and dental faculties were randomly selected. All the students under them were invited to participate in the study (600 students) and 526 responses were received from them. We distributed the questionnaires to students during their obligatory lectures in the academic year 2012–2013. Data collection was done with a self-administered questionnaire containing knowledge and attitude questions (11 questions for each part) in addition to some demographic questions. Results: A total of 526 questionnaires were received (from 319 medical students and 207 dental students). Knowledge of about half of the medical students (54%) was at an intermediate level and of 27.1% students was at a good level; more than half of the dental students (68.2%) had an intermediate level and 10.5% had a good level of knowledge. The level of attitude of medical students was 14.7% at an intermediate level and of dentistry students was 21.4% at an intermediate level. Attitude of none of the students was at good level. Knowledge and attitude scores were not significantly associated with age, gender, or marital status. However, medical students had better knowledge and attitude toward HIV/AIDS, compared to dental students. Conclusions: Some coefficients exist in knowledge and attitude of Iraqi medical and dental students toward HIV/AIDS. Results indicate that more emphasis should be placed on educating dental and medical students about HIV and other blood-borne infections.

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