Students lack HIV test knowledge


Most college students understand how to prevent the transmission of HIV but are less knowledgeable about HIV testing, a UGA study shows.

Researcher Su-I Hou, an associate professor in the College of Public Health, surveyed more than 500 students and found that they scored higher on general questions related to HIV and AIDS than items specifically related to HIV testing. Most HIV tests do not measure or detect the virus itself but instead look for the body’s reaction to the virus—the presence of antibodies to HIV.

The study surveyed 222 black students from 15 historically black colleges and universities and 335 white students. It showed that African Americans rated significantly higher on their perceived knowledge of HIV. Black students are also nearly seven times more likely to be tested for HIV, according to the survey. Results of the study were published in the July issue of the Journal of the National Medical Association.