Attitudes of Saudi nursing Students on AIDs and Predictors of willingness to provide care for patients in Central Saudi Arabia

  • Mostafa A Abolfotouh King Abdullah International Medical Research Center (KAIMRC), King Saud bin-Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
  • Samar A. A Al Saleh
  • Aisha A Mahfouz
  • Sherif M Abolfotouh
  • Haya M Al Fozan College of Nursing, King Saud bin-Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Keywords: AIDs, Nursing Students, Saudi, Knowledge, attitude


Objectives. This study aimed to assess HIV-related knowledge, attitudes and risk perception among Saudi nursing students, and to identify predictors of their willingness to provide care for patients with AIDS.

Methods A cross sectional study of 260 baccalaureate nursing students at King Saud bin-Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia was done using  a previously validated instrument. 

Results. Students’ knowledge percentage mean score (PMS) on HIV/AIDS was 72.93±10.67 reflecting an average level of knowledge. There were many misconceptions about how HIV is transmitted, e.g. use of same toilets and bathrooms and washing clothes together (24.9%), swimming (53.7%) and coughing and sneezing (49.6%). Nursing students reported an overall negative attitude towards AIDS, with a PMS of 43.48±9.21. The majority of students agreed that AIDs patients should be isolated from other patients (83%), and should not share the room with other non-infected patients (81.8%), and some reported that PLWA deserve what has happened to them (24.7%). After controlling for confounders, students’ poor knowledge and negative attitude were associated only with having never been given nursing education as their primary high education (p=0.012 & p=0.01 respectively).  

Conclusion. These findings have implications for development of teaching strategies and curricular approaches for nursing to address this health care issue. 

Author Biographies

Mostafa A Abolfotouh, King Abdullah International Medical Research Center (KAIMRC), King Saud bin-Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Professor and Head Section of Biobanking - King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, King Saud bin-Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Haya M Al Fozan, College of Nursing, King Saud bin-Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Dean of College of Nursing, King Saud bin-Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia



- Ungan M, Yaman H. AIDS knowledge and educational needs of technical university students in Turkey. Patient Education and Counseling 2003; 51: 163 -167.

- Tavossi A, Zaferani A, Enzevaei A, Tajik P. Knowledge and attitude towards HIV/AIDS among Iranian students. BMC Public Health 2004; 4-17.

- Joint United Nations programme on HIV/AIDS and world health organization AIDS epidemic update 2006 Geneva: UNAIDS, 2006.

- "Worldwide AIDS & HIV Statistics". AVERT. 31 December 2009. Retrieved 26 January 2011.

- AIDS epidemic update. Geneva, United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS, 2007.

- An HIV/TB strategy for the Eastern Mediterranean region; 2006-2010 available from www.emro,whoint/asd/puplication-regional.htm. Accessed 14 November 2012.

- Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). World factbook. 2011. List of countries by HIV/AIDS adult prevalence rate. Accessed 2 December, 2012

Badahdah AM ,. Sayem N. HIV-related knowledge and AIDS stigma among

college students in Yemen. East Mediterr Health J. 2010 Aug;16(8):901-6.

Preston D, Forti E, Kassab C. Profiles of nurses` use personal protective equipment. Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care 2002; 13(6): 34-45.

Buskin S, Lin L, Houyuan Y, Tianii Y, Mcgough T. HIV/AIDS Knowledge and attitudes in chines medical professionals and students .Journal of Public Health Management Practice 2002; 8(6):38-43.

Watkins S, Gray J. Human Immunodeficiency Virus/ Acquired Immune Deficiency Survey of the knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs of Texas RN in the 21st century. Journal for Nurses in Staff Development 2006; 22(5):232-8.

Pita-frenandez S, Rodriguez B, Pertega S. Attitudes of nursing and auxiliary hospital staff toward HIV infection and AIDS in spain. Journal of the Association of Nurses in Aids Care 2004;15(3):62-9.

AL-Mazrou Y, Abouzeid S, AL-Jeffri H. Impact of health education on knowledge and attitudes of Saudi paramedical students toward HIV/AIDS. Saudi Medical Journal 2005; 26(11):1788-95.

Earl E, Penney P. Rural nursing students’ knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about HIV/AIDS. Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care 2003; 14(4): 70-3.

Martin E, Bedimo L. Nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, and physician assistant attitudes and care practices related to persons with HIV/AIDS. Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners 2000; 12(2): 35-41.

Ogbuji CQ. Knowledge about HIV/AIDS and sexual practice among university of Ibadan students. Afr J Med Med Sci. 2005 Mar;34(1):25-31.

Rondahal G, Innala S, carlsson M. Nursing staff and nursing student`s attitudes towards HIV infected patient in Sweden. Journal of Advanced Nursing 2003; 41(5): 454-61.

Petro-Nustas W, Kulwicki A, Zumout A. Students` Knowledge, Attitudes and Beliefs about AIDS. Journal of Transcultural Nursing 2002;13(2):118-25.

O`Sullivan S, Preston D, Forti M. Predictors of rural critical care nurses` willingness to care with AIDS. Intensive Critical Care Nursing 2000; 16(3):181-90.

Lohrmann C, Valimaki M, Suominen T, Muinonen U, Dassan T. German nursing students` Knowledge of and attitudes to HIV/AIDS. Journal of Advanced Nursing 2ooo; 31(3):696-703.

Uwakwe CBU. Systematized HIV/AIDS education for student nurses at the university of student nurses at the university of Ibadan, Nigeria: Impact on knowledge, attitudes and compliance with universal precautions. Journal of Advanced Nursing 2000; 32(2): 416-24.

Diclemente RJ, Zorn J, Temoshok L. Adolescents and Aids: A survey of knowledge, attitudes and beliefs about AIDS in San Francisco. Am J Public Health. 1986; 76: 1443-5.

Doyle YG, Conroy RM. What Irish School Children know about AIDS. Public Health (London). 1991; 105: 167-71.

Adebap SB, Bangbala AO, Oyedirn MA. Attitudes of health care providers to persons living with HIV/AIDS in Lagos state, Nigeria. African Journal of Reproductive Health. 2003; 7(1): 103-112.

Abolfotouh MA. The impact of a lecture on AIDS on knowledge, attitudes and beliefs of male school-age adolescents in the Asir Region of Southwestern Saudia Arabia. Journal of Community Health. 1995; 20(3): 233-314.

Bektas HA¸ Kulakac O. Knowledge and attitudes of nursing students toward patients living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV): A Turkish perspective. AIDS Care, August 2007; 19(7): 888_894

Halpern C., Rodrigue J.R., Boggs St. R. & Greene A.F. (1993) Attitudes toward individuals with HIV: a comparison of medical staff, nurses and students. Aids Patient Care 7, 275±279.

Kopelman LM. If HIV/AIDS is punishment, who is bad? Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, 2002, 27:231–243.

Ayranci U. AIDS knowledge and attitudes in a Turkish population: an epidemiological study. BMC Public Health, 005, 13:1–10.

Montazeri A. AIDS knowledge and attitudes in Iran: results from a population-based survey in Tehran. Patient Education and Counseling, 2004, 57:199–203.

Tebourski F, Ben Alaya D. Knowledge and attitudes of high school students regarding HIV/AIDS in Tunisia: does more knowledge lead to more positive attitudes? Journal of Adolescent Health, 2004, 34:161–162.

Heijnders M, Van Der Meij S. The fight against stigma: an overview of the stigma-reduction strategies and interventions. Psychology, Health and Medicine, 2006, 11:353–363.

Jemmott LS, Jemmot III JB, Cruz-Collins M. Predicting patient AIDS care intentions among nursing students. Nursing research 1992; 41 (3): 172-177.

Carney, J. S.,Werth, J. L.,&Martin, J. S. (1999). The impact of an HIV/AIDS training course for baccalaureate nursing students. Journal of Nursing Education, 38(1), 39-43.

Community Health Nursing