KNOWLEDGE ABOUT HIV AND DISCRIMINATORY ATTITUDES TOWARD PEOPLE LIVING WITH HIV IN PAKISTAN
Keywords:HIV, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, Pakistan
Background: Little evidence is available regarding knowledge about HIV and attitudes of the general population toward PLHIV in Pakistan. Secondary analysis of data from PDHS 2012-13 was performed to evaluate the effect of knowledge about HIV on discriminatory attitudes toward PLHIV in Pakistan and to explore their association with socioeconomic and demographic variables.
Methods: Ever-married persons age 15-49 who had ever heard about AIDS were included in the study. Variables measuring composite knowledge and discriminatory attitude were developed and recoded into three groups for analysis.
Results: Around 17% of respondents correctly answered all five questions regarding transmission and prevention of HIV. Overall by the composite three-category knowledge variable, 66% had more knowledge, 29% and 5% had some and no knowledge about HIV respectively. About 22.8% of respondents showed more discriminatory attitude, while 61.1% showed some and only 16% of the respondents showed no discriminatory attitude toward PLHIV. The study found a statistically significant inverse relationship between knowledge about HIV and discriminatory attitude toward PLHIV. Regression analysis showed that respondents with secondary or higher education and in the middle, rich, and richest wealth quintiles exhibit less discriminatory attitude toward PLHIV. Men, despite having more knowledge about HIV, held more discriminatory attitude toward PLHIV.
Conclusion: The results suggest a need for Pakistani society to become better informed about HIV/AIDS in order to reduce the stigma associated with HIV and avoid discriminatory attitudes.