M-17: Awareness of HIV and Transmission Routes, Access to Health Knowledge in Western China: A Cross-Sectional Questionnaire Study
University of Macau Macao
To learn the general situation of HIV awareness and access to health knowledge among rural inhabitants in western China, and to provide some empirical information for policy makers in similar regions with complex social-economic environment.
A self-designed questionnaire survey was carried out by cluster stratified sampling among patients in 99 county hospitals from 11 provinces in western China in 2011. Information about HIV awareness, HIV transmission routes awareness and participants’ access to health knowledge was collected.
The HIV awareness rate of the total 9,468 participants was 80.8%. There were statistically significant differences between subgroups classified by age, education, occupation, income, provincial HIV morbidity, provincial average income of rural inhabitants, provincial ethical proportion, whether having none-communicable disease (NCD) and medical instructions, physical examination participation, health educational activity participation, and four access to health knowledge as through medical staff, mass media, family member and socialization. Provincial ethical proportion and whether got health knowledge from family members were excluded in the binary logistic regression by backward conditional analysis. Education level played a vital role in HIV awareness according to the regression model. Maternal-neonatal transmission route was of least awareness among all subgroups, and patients who got NCD without medical instructions had the worst performance in questions concerning HIV transmission routes. Only 302 participants got health knowledge from family members, and they had lower awareness rates in all questions concerning HIV/AIDS than those who did not. In a general view, all results in this study strongly supported the discipline in other less developed areas in the world - education is the best vaccine.
In a perspective of the whole western China, 80.8% of the rural inhabitants knew HIV, implicating the previous HIV/AIDS health education did not reach a 100% coverage. In this situation, the most impoverished, conservative living, low-fluent populations were in demand of special attention, as they were not regarded as high-risk group but access bitterly to general health resources, and they were much vulnerable. HIV maternal-neonatal transmission route with PMTCT program called for extended publicity in this area. In the long run, to elevate general education level and family health literacy in western China on the fundamental of ethnical, cultural and religious coordination should be the basic measure to defeat HIV/AIDS. These findings might also provide some helpful information for HIV prevention action in other areas in the world with similar natural and social situations.