Knowledge of HIV transmission and risk behaviour in Kenyan health care workers
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In order to determine knowledge of HIV transmission, sexual risk behaviour and perception of risk in African health care workers, 200 employees at the Aga Khan Hospital, Nairobi, Kenya, were asked to complete an anonymous self-administered questionnaire. There was a 75% response rate. Twenty-five per cent believed that condoms were not protective against HIV transmission. Eighty-nine per cent believed oral sex to be a risk factor, as did 70% for kissing, 41% for masturbation of a partner and 43% for nursing an AIDS patient. Younger people were more likely to think condoms were ineffective (P = 0.007) and that insect bites were a significant risk factor (P = 0.004). Twenty-seven per cent had changed their sexual behaviour as a result of the AIDS epidemic, but 48% did not use condoms with non-regular partners. Four had current or previous homosexual relationships. Seventy per cent believed they were at risk of being HIV positive but only 12% had been tested. We have shown that even in the educated group, misconceptions regarding HIV transmission were high and many continue to be at risk for their sexual behaviour. In addition, in-service training regarding HIV transmission should be considered for health care workers in Africa.