Background: The number of people infected with HIV/AIDS continues to increase across the world. The awareness of HIV/AIDS and attitudes toward this disease among nurses and their willingness to care for those infected directly impacts upon the quality of HIV/AIDS-patient care.
Purpose: This study explores the knowledge, attitudes, infection-risk perceptions, and willingness to care for HIV/AIDS patients among nurses and the correlations among these variables.
Methods: This study used a descriptive, correlational design. Scales on HIV/AIDS-related knowledge, attitudes, perceived risk of infection, and willingness to care were used to collect data from 219 nurses who attended the course series on HIV/AIDS held by the Nurses AIDS Prevention Foundation in 2010.
Results: The mean score for HIV/AIDS knowledge was 79.6%, with knowledge related to disease transmission pathways earning the highest score and knowledge related to HIV/AIDS protective measures earning the lowest. Participating nurses with higher knowledge scores held a more positive attitude toward HIV/AIDS (p < .001), a lower perceived risk of HIV/AIDS infection (p < .001), and a higher willingness to care for HIV/AIDS-positive patients (p = .001). In addition, those participants who had received in-service HIV/AIDS education training earned higher willingness-to-care scores (p =.046).
Conclusions/Implications for Practice: The results of the present study underscore the importance of HIV/AIDS education and may be referenced by health authorities and hospitals for promoting HIV/AIDS education. Further, the results suggest that nurses with a greater knowledge of HIV/AIDS protection and of prophylaxis after occupational exposure are more willing to care for HIV/AIDS patients.
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