Knowledge, Attitudes, Beliefs and Perception of Risk of College Students Pertaining to HIV Infection

The HIV/AIDS Research and Policy Institute at CSU recently concluded a cross-sectional study of CSU students to determine the knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and behaviors of college students regarding HIV prevention. The study showed that the mean age of the students was 23.7 (+ 9.9) years and 91% of them have never been married. Eighty seven percent were sexually active; among whom 53% became sexually active before the age of 17 years. Approximately 53% self identified themselves as heterosexual, 42% as homosexual and 5% as bisexual. Among sexually active respondents, only 37.9% reported that they or their partners used a condom for sexual intercourse all the time in the last 30 days. Almost 60% male and 46.5% female respondents reported having two or more lifetime female and male sexual partners, respectively. About 11% reported that they drank alcohol or used other illegal drugs before their last sexual intercourse.

High risk sexual behaviors for HIV were prevalent among the men. Majority of the male respondents had poor perception of their HIV risk despite having high risk sexual behaviors. Fifty percent who had two or more lifetime sexual partners perceived their self as having no chance of contracting HIV while only 10% of the students thought they had a good chance of contracting HIV infection. Only 11.6% of men who had sexual intercourse with two or more women in the last 30 days perceived themselves as having a good chance of contracting HIV infection similar to 16.1% among men who had sex with two or more men. Among men who did not use condom all the time in the last 30 days, only 2.6% felt they had a good chance of contracting HIV; and among men who did not use condom during the last sexual intercourse, only 4.2% perceived they had a good chance of contracting HIV.