Individuals who are aware of the risk of infection and perceive themselves to be at risk of infection are more likely to take action to prevent HIV infection. The aim of this study was to assess the knowledge of HIV/AIDS among Iraqi women.
A secondary analysis of the 2000 Multiple Cluster Indicator Survey (MICS) for Iraq was carried out to assess the extent of HIV/AIDS-related knowledge among Iraqi women.
The majority of the 22,997 respondents were age 15–24 years (44.3%), currently married (51.4%), and resided in urban areas (71.7%). About 1 in 4 (26.0%) of the study participants had no formal education. Only 49.9% had heard of HIV/AIDS. Overall, 60.5% did not know that HIV can be transmitted through blood transfusion. Meanwhile, 98.5% of the respondents did not know that HIV can be transmitted from mother to child through breast milk. Only 0.7% of the respondents reported that HIV cannot be transmitted through mosquito bites. The proportion of the respondents who had adequate knowledge on HIV/AIDS was 9.8%. Adequate knowledge of HIV/AIDS was negatively associated with being married, poor, having low education, and residing in rural areas.
Findings from this study indicate that adequate knowledge of HIV/AIDS among Iraqi is very limited and associated with marital status, education, wealth, and place of residence. This information may be of use in the design, targeting, monitoring and evaluation of programs aimed at improving HIV and AIDS related knowledge in Iraq.