Introduction: In Cote d’Ivoire, the prevalence of HIV/AIDS has declined significantly in the last decade as a result of public health actions. An assessment of knowledge, attitudes, perception and behaviours was carried out to assess the outcome of the strategies for raising awareness and communicating with students about HIV/AIDS.
Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted in 2014 among students enrolled in third year at the university. An anonymous self-questionnaire including a consent form was provided. Mean scores were calculated from the items in the questionnaire to assess the level of knowledge, attitude, perception and behaviours of these students with regard to HIV/AIDS. The chi2 test was used to compare the qualitative variables and the quantitative variables were compared with the test of Student.
Results: Among 561 students who participated in the study, 41.7%, 26.7% and 31.6% were respectively registered in the sectors of Human and social Sciences (HSS), Biosciences and the sector of Health Sciences. The mean age was 25.9 ± 3.4 years with a sex ratio of 1.3. The mean knowledge score of certain modes of transmission was 4.9 ± 0.36 out of 5 while that of condom positive perception was 6.4 ± 2.2 out of 12. This perception score was significantly higher in women than in men (6.1 vs. 6.9, p = 0.0001). The mean acceptance score was 7.3 ± 2.2 out of 10.
Discussion: The results of this work show good knowledge about HIV/AIDS among the students surveyed. However, the positive perception of the condom is far from being integrated in the student environment. This study also showed the persistence of HIV risk behaviour is out of sync with the level of knowledge. It would be important to review marketing and communication strategies about HIV.
Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Students, Knowledge, Attitude, Behaviours, Cote d’Ivoire