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J Natl Med Assoc. Dec 1998; 90(12): 765–774.
PMCID: PMC2608423

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

Abstract

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.

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Selected References

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