August 29, 2008
College Students Less Knowledgeable About HIV Testing
A new study conducted by the University of Georgia reveals that while most college students know how to protect themselves from HIV, they are less knowledgeable about HIV testing, ScienceDaily reports.
According to the article, the UGA College of Public Health surveyed more than 500 students and found that participants scored higher on general HIV-related questions (82 percent correct) than ones related specifically to HIV testing (72 percent correct). The HIV testing questions touched on how HIV tests work—they do not detect the virus itself but the presence of HIV antibodies—and the three-month “window period” during which an HIV-positive person may test negative but still transmit the virus to others.
“We need to make sure our prevention messages are comprehensive,” said study author and UGA associate professor Su-I Hou, whose study results appear in the July issue of the Journal of the National Medical Association. “In addition to talking about avoiding transmission, health communication efforts should promote testing, as well.”
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