Sources of Information and Social Factors as Determinants of HIV Awareness of Residents in Sorsogon, Philippines
With the alarming increase of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) cases over the recent years, understanding the level of HIV awareness facilitates the development of appropriate prevention programs. The study determined the residents’ level of awareness and their sources of information towards HIV. Using 384 residents in Sorsogon province, chosen through systematic random sampling, the study employed cross-sectional descriptive design. A questionnaire consisted of demographic questions, sources of HIV information, and a modified 30-point HIV awareness questionnaire was used to gather data. Results revealed that the residents’ level of awareness was moderate, which indicates of basic, yet inadequate, knowledge about HIV. They basically know that it is a sex-related disease, but few knew of its asymptomatic characteristics. The study found that the major sources of HIV information are the mass media, such as TV/radio and the internet/social media. However, it was found that HIV information coming from brochures/flyers, attendance from conferences and government-initiated information dissemination drew higher awareness level than from the common sources. The study revealed that education and income levels have significant relationship with HIV awareness, which indicates that the higher the education level and the income level, the higher the level of HIV awareness. Thus, this study recommends community-based awareness campaign, focusing on the out-of-school youth and the less educated adults, particularly from low-income households.
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