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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 23-26

Knowledge of anti-retroviral therapy among people living with HIV/AIDS: A cross-sectional study

1 Classified Spl (PSM), DADH, HQ 28 Inf Div, C/O 56 APO, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, AFMC, Pune, Maharashtra, India
3 Dy DGAFMS (P), M Block, Min of Def, New Delhi, India
4 MO (Anaesthesia), Military Hospital Kirkee, India
5 Graded Spl (PSM), DADH, HQ 9 Inf Div, C/O 56 APO, India

Correspondence Address:
Lt Col Ravishekar N Hiremath
Classified Spl (PSM) DADH, HQ 28 Inf Div, C/O 56 APO. 908 428
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jmms.jmms_54_17

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Background: Anti-retroviral therapy (ART) has substantially improved the survival of people living with HIV-AIDS (PLHAs). The individual and public health responsiveness to ART is, in turn, determined by ART-related knowledge of PLHAs. Objective: To study the knowledge of HIV positive individuals regarding ART and also to study its association with education and duration of HIV positivity. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted at a tertiary level hospital. The study participants were 102 PLHAs who were not yet started on ART and data were collected using a face-to-face interview. Results: The mean age was 35.5 years and 58.8% were educated to 10th standard. About 92.2% were married, and more than 70% belonged to rural areas. Nearly 11.8% felt that there is no treatment available. Surprisingly, 60.8% of the participants had incorrect knowledge about the correct time of initiating ART while 60 (58.8%) participants were aware that ART needs to be taken lifelong. 26.5% said that antiretroviral drugs were associated with side effects. As per predetermined knowledge scores, 79.4% had satisfactory knowledge regarding the treatment. A statistically significant (P = 0.03) relationship was observed between the knowledge scores regarding ART among the study participants and educational status while it was not statistically significant (P = 0.56) as regards duration of HIV positivity. Conclusion: There still exists a considerable gap in knowledge regarding treatment options for HIV/AIDS among the PLHA of this region. Hence, there is a need to increase the awareness regarding the same and implement the same into practice. Periodic counseling is necessary to increase awareness and to clear misconceptions about ART among PLHA.

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