• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of jnmaLink to Publisher's site
J Natl Med Assoc. Dec 1998; 90(12): 765–774.
PMCID: PMC2608423

International comparison of medical students' perceptions of HIV infection and AIDS.


This analysis compared medical students' perceptions of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in two cities in two countries with different cultural and educational backgrounds. A total of 292 first- and second-year medical students (45% sample) were surveyed from New Jersey Medical School and from Benin Medical School, Nigeria. Compared with the Benin students, the Newark medical students were significantly more knowledgeable and had more positive attitudes and behaviors regarding HIV infection and AIDS. Misperceptions regarding certain modes of transmission of HIV were significantly higher among the Benin students than the Newark students. Compared with the Benin students, the Newark students had more frequent sexual intercourse and used condoms more frequently, but the Benin students had more sex partners. Perception of personal risk and concern of contracting AIDS was significantly higher among the Newark students than the Benin students. These results indicate it is important that medical educators in medical schools convey accurate information to improve medical students' perception regarding HIV infection and AIDS.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (1.2M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • McDaniel JS, Carlson LM, Thompson NJ, Purcell DW. A survey of knowledge and attitudes about HIV and AIDS among medical students. J Am Coll Health. 1995 Jul;44(1):11–14. [PubMed]
  • Feldmann TB, Bell RA, Stephenson JJ, Purifoy FE. Attitudes of medical school faculty and students toward acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Acad Med. 1990 Jul;65(7):464–466. [PubMed]
  • Bernstein CA, Rabkin JG, Wolland H. Medical and dental students' attitudes about the AIDS epidemic. Acad Med. 1990 Jul;65(7):458–460. [PubMed]
  • Kelly JA, St Lawrence JS, Smith S, Jr, Hood HV, Cook DJ. Medical students' attitudes toward AIDS and homosexual patients. J Med Educ. 1987 Jul;62(7):549–556. [PubMed]
  • Johnson JA, Campbell AE, Toewe CH, 2nd, Bell BJ. Knowledge and attitudes about AIDS among first- and second-year medical students. AIDS Educ Prev. 1990 Spring;2(1):48–57. [PubMed]
  • Kittleson MJ, Ragon BM, Venglarcik JS. Assessment of medical students' knowledge regarding human immunodeficiency virus transmission: comparisons by gender, residence, and training level. South Med J. 1993 Jun;86(6):660–666. [PubMed]
  • Evans JK, Bingham JS, Pratt K, Carne CA. Attitudes of medical students to HIV and AIDS. Genitourin Med. 1993 Oct;69(5):377–380. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Eghafona NO, Phillips MN, Uraih N. HIV-1 seroepidemiological profile in age groups and sexes in Benin City, Nigeria. Trop Geogr Med. 1993;45(6):308–309. [PubMed]
  • Offor E, Okafor L, Osunde J. Changes in HIV seroprevalence among blood donors in Benin City, Nigeria. AIDS. 1994 Sep;8(9):1352–1354. [PubMed]
  • Sperling RS, Shapiro DE, Coombs RW, Todd JA, Herman SA, McSherry GD, O'Sullivan MJ, Van Dyke RB, Jimenez E, Rouzioux C, et al. Maternal viral load, zidovudine treatment, and the risk of transmission of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 from mother to infant. Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Group Protocol 076 Study Group. N Engl J Med. 1996 Nov 28;335(22):1621–1629. [PubMed]
  • Blanche S, Rouzioux C, Moscato ML, Veber F, Mayaux MJ, Jacomet C, Tricoire J, Deville A, Vial M, Firtion G, et al. A prospective study of infants born to women seropositive for human immunodeficiency virus type 1. HIV Infection in Newborns French Collaborative Study Group. N Engl J Med. 1989 Jun 22;320(25):1643–1648. [PubMed]
  • Weinberger M, Conover CJ, Samsa GP, Greenberg SM. Physicians' attitudes and practices regarding treatment of HIV-infected patients. South Med J. 1992 Jul;85(7):683–686. [PubMed]
  • Elford J, Cockcroft A. Compulsory HIV antibody testing, universal precautions and the perceived risk of HIV: a survey among medical students and consultant staff at a London teaching hospital. AIDS Care. 1991;3(2):151–158. [PubMed]
  • Currey CJ, Johnson M, Ogden B. Willingness of health-professions students to treat patients with AIDS. Acad Med. 1990 Jul;65(7):472–474. [PubMed]
  • Merrill JM, Laux L, Thornby JI. AIDS and student attitudes. South Med J. 1989 Apr;82(4):426–432. [PubMed]
  • Royse D, Birge B. Homophobia and attitudes towards AIDS patients among medical, nursing, and paramedical students. Psychol Rep. 1987 Dec;61(3):867–870. [PubMed]
  • McKinnon MD, Insall C, Gooch CD, Cockcroft A. Knowledge and attitudes of health care workers about AIDS and HIV infection before and after distribution of an educational booklet. J Soc Occup Med. 1990 Spring;40(1):15–18. [PubMed]
  • Kittleson MJ, Venglarcik JS. Assessing primary care physicians' knowledge about HIV transmission. J Fam Pract. 1990 Dec;31(6):661–663. [PubMed]
  • Gemson DH, Colombotos J, Elinson J, Fordyce EJ, Hynes M, Stoneburner R. Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome prevention. Knowledge, attitudes, and practices of primary care physicians. Arch Intern Med. 1991 Jun;151(6):1102–1108. [PubMed]
  • Passannante MR, French J, Louria DB. How much do health care providers know about AIDS? Am J Prev Med. 1993 Jan-Feb;9(1):6–14. [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of the National Medical Association are provided here courtesy of National Medical Association


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC


  • MedGen
    Related information in MedGen
  • PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...