Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes a sexually transmitted disease (STD) affecting the human immune system.
It is mainly transmitted through sexual intercourse, blood transfusions, hypodermic needles, and parenterally.
Multiple actions can be taken to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, such as condom and sterile needle use and
HIV testing for pregnant women. This study aims to assess freshmen students’ awareness, knowledge, attitudes,
and behavioral perceptions regarding HIV/AIDS at Oakland University (OU) in Michigan.
This study is a cross-sectional survey targeting freshman students at OU. The questionnaire is comprised of
seven sections including demographics, risk perception, protection measures, alcohol tendencies, health-seeking
behaviors, culturally sensitive issues, and methods of dissemination of information. The mean age of
respondents was 20. The majority of respondents knew that HIV is transmitted sexually (98%) and by
sharing needles (98%). Many misconceptions about transmission of HIV were expressed by 53%.
Data showed that while there was good knowledge regarding HIV transmission and prevention, some
misconceptions still prevailed. Our results indicate the need to develop educational programs with
specific interventions to raise awareness about preventive measures, clear misconceptions, and promote
healthy lifestyle in order to prevent new HIV infections among young college students.