Background: Through a self-administered questionnaire, we compared the sexual behavior and knowledge about HIV in STD clinic attendees with healthy adults.
Methods: 106 (Mean age 19.1 years, 78% married, 66% males) patients attending STD clinic and 64 (Mean age 21 years, 38% married, 69% males) healthy adults were assessed for their sexual behavior, knowledge and awareness about HIV.
Results: 70% controls and 100% patients ever had sex (P=0.000). 31% male controls vs. 42% male patients but none of females ever had same-sex experience (P=0.028). 93% controls vs. 45% patients had only one or no sex partner during the last year (P=0.000). More male STD patients talked about HIV/AIDS. Television and Newspapers were the common sources of information. 37% patients and 58% controls were aware that apparently healthy persons could be HIV infected. 59% controls and 40% patients were aware of mother-to-child HIV transmission (P=0.036). 66% of controls vs. 50% of patients were willing to take care of a family member if HIV infected (P=0.085). For 58% controls and 40% patients it was acceptable for a HIV positive to teach students in school (P=0.028). Only 8% controls vs. 55% patients shared HIV results with regular sex partners. 7% controls and 98% patients knew where HIV can be tested. 38% controls and 64% patients said they would support unmarried girls buying a condom (P=0.000).
Conclusions: The awareness levels were significantly lower in patients. Stigma attached to HIV was much less than in 1990’s. Patients were more likely to be married at early age, sexually experienced, agreeable for unmarried girls buying condoms, tested for HIV, share HIV test results with regular sex partners. Condom use was low in both patients and controls however the risk of acquiring HIV and STI was offset in controls by delayed marriage and sexual debut, less number of sex partners and absence of concurrency.