Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Adv Nurs. 2003 Aug;43(3):238-45.

HIV/AIDS knowledge and risk behaviour in Hong Kong Chinese pregnant women.

Author information

  • 1Department of Health, Hong Kong, China.



With the increase in HIV infection among childbearing aged women in Hong Kong, health department policy-makers are considering the implementation of antenatal HIV screening to identify infected mothers. However, little is known about women's understanding of HIV/AIDS, and their attitudes towards HIV screening.


The aim of this study was to explore pregnant women's knowledge about HIV/AIDS, their perceptions of risk, risk behaviour and management, and their attitudes towards HIV screening.


A cross-sectional study was carried out, and all Chinese pregnant women who attended an antenatal clinic of a regional hospital in Hong Kong in the month of December 2000 were invited to complete a questionnaire.


Hong Kong pregnant women had fairly good general knowledge of HIV/AIDS (mean score = 4.8/6), but were less knowledgeable on specific mother-to-child HIV transmission (mean score = 3.6/6). There were statistically significant differences between those with different levels of education (chi2 = 19.81; P < 0.001) and between Hong Kong born residents and immigrants from the Chinese mainland (z = -4.03; P < 0.001). Over a third (36.7%) of all pregnant women perceived a risk of contracting HIV. If HIV infection were suspected, over 70% would have HIV screening together with their spouse. If HIV was confirmed, 24% would terminate the pregnancy. As many as 78.5% and 72.8% of women believed that HIV screening should be carried out before marriage and pregnancy respectively. Only 4.7% would choose universal opt-out antenatal HIV testing.


Health educators should provide tailored-made education programmes for women at risk, particularly those at lower education levels and those who have come from the Chinese mainland, to enhance their knowledge about mother-to-child HIV transmission, and to promote awareness of safe sex. Health policy-makers should consider the possibility of providing pre-marriage and pre-pregnancy HIV screening for women.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk