India / knowledge: City women fare poorly on AIDS awareness meter

17 Nov, 2009

CHANDIGARH: One may think that those residing in rural areas lack knowledge on HIV/AIDS. However, surprisingly, a major chunk of urban women know little on the disease which has become a world-wide threat. This was evident when a majority of women failed to clear the general awareness test conducted by the department of community medicine, GMCH-32, on Monday.

According to information, around 260 mothers of medical graduates participated in the study. Surprisingly, 12% of the respondents stated that AIDS was curable, while 52% did not know it could lead to other serious diseases.

In view of the responses, the study recommended that women across the social spectrum should be targeted in the awareness campaign carried out by the Centre under the National AIDS Control Programme, phase II and III.

Around 83% respondents were aware that HIV/ AIDS occurred mainly through sexual intercourse, while 75% knew it spread through blood transfusion.

Meanwhile, 74.6% believed that prevention was better than cure. Likewise, 75.7% said sexual transmission could be avoided through correct use of condoms, while 73% stated use of disposable syringes and needles should be avoided.

Meanwhile, amongst 260 respondents, 193 (74.2%) were in the age group of 45-54 years, 50 (19.2%) were less than 45 years, 72.3% respondents belonged to the middle class, while 72 (27%) were from the upper strata of society.

The study also found that 218 (83.5%) participants knew th