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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2007  |  Volume : 51  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 33-38

HIV sero-prevalence and knowledge, behaviour and practices regarding HIV/AIDS in specific population groups in Ludhiana, Punjab


1 Department of Community Medicine, Christian Medical College, Ludhiana - 141008, Punjab, India
2 Department of Internal Medicine, Christian Medical College, Ludhiana - 141008, Punjab, India

Correspondence Address:
A I Benjamin
Department of Community Medicine, Christian Medical College, Ludhiana - 141008, Punjab
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 18232138

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Objectives: To assess HIV serostatus, knowledge, behaviour and practices regarding HIV/AIDS among blood donors, pregnant women and the general population in Ludhiana and to find out any association between these factors. Methods: The descriptive cross sectional study was conducted among blood donors attending the blood bank, pregnant women attending the antenatal clinics of the peripheral health centres of the department of Community Medicine, Christian Medical College Ludhiana, and the general population of the field practice areas of the Department, aged 15 years or more and willing to join the investigation. The study subjects were interviewed through a self-administered questionnaire and screened for HIV using ELISA technique. Seropositivity rates in the population groups and possible risk factors were compared, using EpiInfo 6.04d software. Results: Prevalence of HIV infection was found to be 0.30 % (95 % CI 0.10 - 0.70) in the general population studied, 0.12 % (95 % CI 0.05 - 0.28) in the blood donors, and nil in the pregnant women. The respondents were deficient in knowledge about the modes of spread of HIV/AIDS. No significant association was established between HIV sero-positivity and gender, age group, education, occupation, HbsAg status, or knowledge about the modes of spread of HIV/AIDS. Sexually active unmarried young people 15-24 years old, those indulging in extra-marital sex, and those addicted to opium/poppy-husk were observed to be at higher risk of HIV infection. Conclusions: The studied population groups have very low HIV seroprevalence. Misconceptions and lack of knowledge need to be corrected through education and awareness to avoid high-risk behaviour and prevent HIV infection.


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