We sent a survey to more than 8,000 New Jersey health professionals to collect information on their knowledge level, attitudes, and prevention practices relating to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). The surveys were distributed through the mail in three separate waves with a postcard reminder. A total of 2,725 individuals provided completed questionnaires (34% response rate). We assessed the AIDS and HIV-related knowledge level of these health professionals, compared their knowledge levels, and identified variables that predict a high level of knowledge. The overall test scores indicate a definite need for AIDS education among these health professionals; on average, doctors answered 71% of the knowledge items correctly; dentists, 66%; and nurses, 65%. Doctors scored higher than the other health professionals on almost all of the 38 items relating to the epidemiological aspects of HIV, transmission, identification and reporting of HIV disease and AIDS, and assessment of HIV-associated risks. The multivariate regression model explained 24% of the variability in knowledge score (P=.0001) and identified the following independent variables as significant predictors of knowledge score: age, race, marital status, religious beliefs, political orientation, professional group, average number of hours worked each week, experience with HIV+/AIDS patients, knowledge self-assessment, and sources of AIDS information.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health