Knowledge, attitude and practice on human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection among new entrant university students in Taiwan

Isai Medah, Shu Fen Lai, Shao Yuan Chuang, Chuan Lin Chang, Pi Mei Nancy Yen, Yi Ming Arthur Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: By the end of 2004, there were 403 students infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) reported to Taiwan's Center for Disease Control. The objective of this study was to understand the knowledge, attitudes and practice regarding HIV-1 and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) among new entrant (freshman) university students in Taiwan. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in September 2004. Self- Administered questionnaires from 11,847 students of nine universities were collected and analyzed. Results: The mean knowledge score was high-86.8. Regarding attitude, 42.2% of students would avoid contacts with HIV/AIDS patients; and 13.6% felt embarrassed if one of their family members had AIDS. The attitude scores of the students did not correlate with the knowledge scores (Pearson correlation: 0.182 and 0.074 for male and female students, respectively). Students identified both school and television as the main sources of information. The sexual orientations were 93.3% heterosexuals, 1.1% bisexuals and 0.5% homosexuals. The mean age of first sexual intercourse was 17.1 (SD±1.5). Among 1,179 (10%) students who had sexual experiences, only 30.9% used condoms consistently. In addition, 9.9% were alcohol consumers and 157 students (1.3%) were illicit drug users which including 10 injecting drug users. Students obtained drugs mainly from friends (58.6%), in pubs (45.2%) and at school (21.6%). This is a significant finding. Conclusions: There were knowledge gaps and many misconceptions about transmission routes of HIV-1. More AIDS education including anti-drug information should be provided to high school students in Taiwan. (Taiwan J Public Health. 2007;26(4):324-337).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324-337
Number of pages14
JournalTaiwan Journal of Public Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Attitude
  • Knowledge
  • Practice
  • Students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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