Original Articles

Knowledge, attitudes and practices towards patients with HIV/AIDS in staff nurses in one university hospital in Sicily


Background: nurses’ knowledge, attitudes and practices towards patients with HIV/AIDS are of ongoing interest, especially in developing countries. Nothing or very little is known about Italian nurses.

Methods: HIV/AIDS knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of the nurses (n=107) from one university hospital inCatania,Sicily, were documented. Comparisons among nurses belonging to different Operative Units (O.U.) were conducted by the chi-square test (P<0.05).

Results: although HIV was nurses’ main concern in regard to contracting infections in the workplace (54%), the vast majority of them (98%) had never refused an HIV/AIDS patient care assignment. Moreover, despite their concern of being more at risk of contracting HIV than the general population (41%), a not negligible percentage of nurses did not use gloves routinely (21%) and only a few treated all patients as potentially HIV-positive (9%). The vast majority of the respondents knew the meaning of AIDS (87%) and of a positive serological test (78%). On the contrary, a relatively low percentage of them knew what is the ‘window period’ (62%) and were acquainted with HIV pathophysiology (65%). No statistically significant differences in terms of risk perception were found between nurses who had previously attended an HIV/AIDS workshop, lecture or specific course (43%) and nurses who did not (57%). Level of knowledge was positively associated to age (P=0.000) and to education (P=0.016), and it was found higher in nurses working in a O.U. of Infectious Diseases.

Conclusions: data from our study show that also in developed countries, such as Italy, nurses could have some misconceptions and concerns about HIV/AIDS. The importance of examining the impact of continuing education on nurses’ preparedness to care for patients with HIV/AIDS and to prevent the risks of occupational HIV transmission is discussed. 

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.2427/8731

NBN: http://nbn.depositolegale.it/urn%3Anbn%3Ait%3Aprex-9933


Article Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c)

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it (Read more).

EBPH Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Public Health | ISSN 2282-0930

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.